Document 167062

Jay Reatard fades all away_page 16
Leo McGovern
[email protected]
Dan Fox
[email protected]
Emily Elhaj
[email protected]
Erin Hall
[email protected]
Nancy Kang, M.D.
[email protected]
Dominique Minor
[email protected]
Dan Mitchell
[email protected]
Sara Pic
[email protected]
Mike Rodgers
[email protected]
Brett Schwaner
[email protected]
Tom Sowders
[email protected]
Mallory Whitfield
[email protected]
Derek Zimmer
[email protected]
ANTI-News_page 6
Some of the news that’s fit to print.
Felix_page 18
Felix navidad!
Suck it, Bing Crosby!_page 18
Rock out to these AG-approved hits...
Homefield Advantage_page 10
The Goods_page 11
[email protected]
How to shop green this season.
Suspension of Disbelief_page 12
Art by Adem Vant Hull
The new theater column.
Table of Contents Photo by Rob Walbers
“Slingshots, Anyone?”_page 13
We like stuff! Send it to:
4916 Freret St.
New Orleans, La. 70115
That sneaky, sneaky Derek...
J Yuenger’s Crossword_page 29
Can J stump you?
Have listings? Send them to:
Photo Review_page 32
[email protected]
The month in photos.
ANTIGRAVITY is a publication of
REVIEWS (pg. 21):
Albums by Atlas Sound, Cold Cave,
Lightning Bolt, Morrissey, Nirvana,
Q-Tip and more...
EVENTS (pg. 24)
December listings for the NOLA area...
COMICS (pg. 30):
Egad!, How To Be Happy,
K Chronicles, Firesquito.
appy non-denominational winter festivities season! I hope everyone had a good
Thanksgiving. I spent the majority of my holiday in Ashburn, Virginia at the Pygmy
Lush farm, which is a true living monument to sound—there are guitars and lyrics
posted on the wall everywhere!!! Also, those boys can cook. One thing I noticed while I was
at the airport on my way up was the cover of Rolling Stone, which featured Bono, Bruce
Springsteen and Mick Jagger. Some other recent RS covers that come to mind had Madonna
and the Beatles (collective age of all these artists: about 500 years), which begs the question:
What fucking century are we in? As we close out 2009 and this entire decade, it’s easy to
want to look back and get nostalgic but come on, let’s move on with it!!! Take these Felix
guys, for instance: they’ll talk your head off about the great artists of yore, but their sound
is still fresh and they clearly don’t feel beholden to the rituals of the past. There’s so much
greatness NOW that we can all appreciate. Nothing like a clean year, clean decade, clean
slate to think about all the amazing things that are yet to happen—because we’re going to
make them happen. Have a great new year, everybody. See you out! —Dan Fox, Associate
Pictured: Adem Vant Hull and John Curry tinker with this month’s cover illustration
4_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
any may, without prior knowledge of their sound
or their new record entitled Blue Record, assert
that Baroness is just another metal band. To be
sure, Baroness crushes, with their interwoven guitar assault
and dirty thunder of a rhythm section like a great many
other bands. And after all, John Dyer Baizley, the group’s
primary vocalist and rhythm guitarist, has contributed some
of the best cover artwork for many of today’s most crucial
metal groups including Torche, Pig Destroyer, Darkest
Hour and Kylesa. But calling Baroness simply metal and
lumping them in with all the rest, whether they derive their
name from the badass female G.I. Joe character or not,
is doing this group a grave disservice. Their new record
is a mountainous and sprawling exploration through the
rebirth of a land scorched by the darkest fires of metal. It
is the sound of a band organically assembling the pieces of
genre-past and, in so, creating a new territory within which
all other hard rock bands will have no choice but to submit
to and follow onward. Baroness is heavier than 99.9% of
bands that fall into the constraints of metal nowadays, yet
more graceful and agile. The sound of Baroness is perhaps
best encapsulated in the title of a track from their new
record called “War, Wisdom and Rhyme,” in that they
possess the power of a thousand stampeding horses, the
maturity and tastefulness in sound and direction few other
bands even begin to approach, as exhibited in their peakand-valley restraint for the sake of overall forcefulness
throughout Blue Record and the ability to cleverly craft
songs that are mixed in such a way that repeated listens
are not only sought but required to understand. While it is
entirely the opinion of this writer the merit and awesomesness of Baroness, it will certainly
be a mistake for anyone who considers themselves a music enthusiast and loves going to
shows that make their ears bleed to miss this one. —Dan Mitchell
6_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
Baroness plays One Eyed Jacks on Wednesday, December 9th with Iron Age and Unpersons. For
more info, go to
I’m not a
big fan of
holiday rituals, I’m
not one to turn down
a present, especially
when it’s something
15th, two of the
best bands in New
Orleans, The Rooks
and Pumpkin, will
take the stage at
The Dragon’s Den
for a late evening
performance with
Canadian Rifle, a
great punk rock group from Chicago who’ve somehow managed to fly under the radar since
their 2007 debut. Several split and 7” vinyl releases later, Canadian Rifle remains one of
punk rock’s best-kept secrets, but probably not for long. As mentioned elsewhere in this
month’s issue of ANTIGRAVITY, their recent full-length debut, Visibility Zero, is among
2009’s best independent releases. Expect to hear some grizzled Chicago songwriting, much
in the tradition of Baxter or The Broadways. For new listeners, be sure to check out Canadian
Rifle’s split release with the band American Cheeseburger as well (it’s possibly a notch better
than Visibility Zero, maybe). And also, don’t forget to come early to witness Pumpkin’s
set, which is sure to be electrogasmically fantastical and filled with songs about pizza and
intergalactic travel. The Rooks are boring. Stand outside during their set. Just kidding, yo.
The Rooks are also electrogasmically fantastical in their own special way. Doors open at
9pm. Cost to attend is $5. For more, be sure to visit and also for streaming tunes and videos. —Brett Schwaner.
December 5th is
your lucky day.
In fact, it might as well
be a national holiday for
people who enjoy goodnatured splatter gore. The
Pallbearers, New Orleans’
longtime favorite shock
rockers, plan to end 2009
with a bang as they enter
their 13th freakish year of
existence with the release
of an all-new album,
thirteen months since the
release of their last effort,
Sex Crime of the Century).
Expect blood, guts, and
feces to be the theme of
the evening. Even thirteen
years of wreaking havoc
haven’t slowed down The Pallbearers—in fact, it’s possible that the group has grown even
more offensive in their stage sets in recent years. Also look for a super-fast set from Face First,
who we featured on our front cover back in January (archived online at antigravitymagazine.
com!). Face First plans to mark the one year anniversary of their current lineup with a
smattering of new songs, as well as some possible classics from the group’s decade-long
existence. The Pallbearers are scheduled to perform at The Hi-Ho Lounge on Saturday,
December 5th with Face First and Lafayette’s Blast Rag. Scheduled showtime is 10pm. Free
copy of the Pallbearers new CD with paid admission. For more info on The Pallbearers, visit and —Brett Schwaner.
By Brett Schwaner Photo Credit: Ally Labruzza
riginally, I’d meant for this to be simply a “best of
2009” list, because I’m sure you’re dying to know my
opinions on a year’s worth of releases from Canadian
Rifle, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Gallows, P.O.S., Thorns
of Life, and Dear Landlord. After some deep, meaningful
soul searching, I decided that doing a “best of the year” list
would be too easy (you can, of course read those comments
on my blog,, beginning on Monday,
December 21st). What I’m really interested in putting together
is a “best of the decade” list, since the opportunity to do one
of those doesn’t come around quite as often. Ten years ago, I
was still dying my hair green and hadn’t quite gotten the nerve
to drop out of UNO. New Orleans has lost so much during the
past decade, more than I’ll ever have enough time to describe on
paper. For all our troubles, I do hope that we do someday find
the courage to hold all of the guilty motherfuckers accountable
for what they’ve done to this city. On that note, let’s talk about
some of the great ones of recent memory…
New Orleans’ best rock band of the previous decade was, by
far, The Ghostwood. Formed in late 2004, The Ghostwood
never once headlined a stage or a tent at Voodoo Fest or
Jazz Fest or even that Renaissance Festival up in Hammond
(although, I‘ll admit, that would have been kind of awesome,
dude). If you managed to catch one of their live sets between
late 2004 and early 2007, then you, my friend, were privy to the
proverbial “good stuff.” For those who were lucky enough to
have experienced the snarly goodness that was The Ghostwood,
you know that they were one of the finest rock bands to come
out of New Orleans, possibly ever. The majority of the group’s work is collected on their lone
release, 2005’s Development, which might still be available if you dig around the Iron Rail’s
for-sale bins, maybe. Everything not found on Development will require a bit of Googling
through some obscure web sites, but it’s worth it. Standout songs: “Getting Old,” “Excited,”
“Useless and Educated.” Sadly, none of The Ghostwood’s former members are currently
involved with local music, as half of the band relocated across the country following the
events of Katrina. The Picts (who later performed under the name Dead On) were New
Orleans’ answer to Bad Religion and Black Flag, although the band had previously spent
time located in both Houston and Shreveport. The Picts’ final release came with 2004’s
Ready to Die. Suburban Rats were, by far, the most insane high school-aged band ever to tear
through NOLA (or, more properly, through Metairie). Although they barely lasted for a year
and half, they managed to outplay bands a decade older than themselves with their speed
and jaw-dropping precision. Of course they disintegrated too quickly, leaving behind a brief
memory of a sound that was far beyond the years of its members, none of whom had yet
reached the age of 18 at the time of their break-up. Similarly, I’m not sure if Hello Asphalt
stuck around long enough to really hit their stride, but when they burned brightest, they
burned like Blink-182 tied to a raging firecracker. Hello Asphalt’s four-year existence was
sputtered by several key lineup changes, two aborted record releases, and one really lousy
hurricane. At their peak, Hello Asphalt piqued the interest of Epitaph Records founder
8_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
Brett Gurewitz, but broke up before anything came of it. Earlier in the
decade, Community was a local indie rock favorite of mine. Their sound
can still be heard in their current spiritual successor, The Black Belt Band.
I’d also regret if I didn’t mention some of my other current local favorites:
Pumpkin, Sick Like Sinatra, and The Rooks.
Ten years is a long time, certainly longer than we’re all willing to admit.
Certainly, it’s a long enough time to grow up or maybe just get old and
then drop out, drop in, and maybe drop even further out. Ten years in this
slimy town and I’ve never once slept on the streets, but I know lots of folks
who have, just because and not because they had to. I’ve seen people get
knocked face down in glass and piss and I’ve walked through sewage and
ruined my newest/nicest pairs of Vans. I’ve never thrown a punch, not
once. Someone stepped on my face in a circle pit once. Someone broke my
nose once and caused blood to spray out of my left nostril all over some
girl who was standing next to me at the time and also all over my favorite
Bad Religion t-shirt. I didn’t punch back, because who really cares? It’s just
music and silly bands and silly shows. I’ll do my best to forget all the shitty
ones (there were so many), but I’ll always remember the great ones. Stay
sullen, drunk and crusty, New Orleans.
ou can’t just waltz in and out of ska like it’s some kind of
country club. Sean Mooney knows this all too well. Nearly
seven years since playing his last gig as a ska bassist, Mooney is,
unexpectedly, returning to his roots. “I joined RF7 and The Hightones
in 1999,” Mooney told ANTIGRAVITY recently. “It was definitely a
new thing for me. I joined the band and we had three weeks to practice
before we were scheduled to open for Fishbone. At the time, I knew
their guitar player and their trombone player, Daryl Burger, who was
also in a band called Kelly’s Heroes. I had been in a metal band called
Ballpit before that, but RF7 was my first and only ska band. I stayed
with the band until 2003, when the band’s lineup started to change
and then eventually we weren’t a band anymore.” Both before and
since RF7’s 2003 break-up, Mooney has spent his time in mostly hard
rock and metal bands, performing bass with Converts, a freestyle metal
band, for the past five years. Seemingly content with his collaboration
with Converts, the planned resurrection of RF7 was a bit of a surprise
for Mooney. “I got a random phone call from one of our singers,
Mikey Dread. He’d talked to RF7’s other singer, Dave Martin. This
was two or three months ago, out of the blue, and now we‘re working
on getting everything right for a one-night reunion. He’s scheduled to
fly in to do the show, although we may end up going on with just one
of them,” Mooney said. “That part’s still up in the air, but we’re going
to go out on stage and have a good time, even if the lineup’s not 100
percent complete. That has always been the RF7 way, I guess,” he said,
referring to the massive amount of members that ska bands typically
burn through in their lifetime. “This will almost definitely be the last
time RF7 books a reunion show. We have a great group of bands lined
up and [ready] to put on a great party. Until then, I’ve been practicing
with Chuck Boyle, formerly of Backwash, and our original drummer,
Eddie Perret. I’m really looking forward to reviving the songs ‘One
More Time’ and ‘Runaway Child.’ We’re focusing mostly on our
earlier material.” —Brett Schwaner
Look for RF7 and The Hightones at Maison Musiqe, located at 508
Frenchmen Street, on Friday, December 11th, along with Clockwork Elvis
and The Local Skank. Showtime is 10pm. This is a one-night only reunion.
For more, check out
by leo mcgovern
[email protected]
ow, what a time to be a Saints fan. At the time I’m writing this the Saints are 100, having come off their rout of the Bucs in Tampa Bay. Since the Monday Night
Football game against the vaunted New England Patriots takes place between
me writing this and you seeing it, I’m going to try and stick to topics that will be relevant
regardless of the results from the Saints/Pats showdown.
I know there are many fans clamoring for the Saints to go 19-0, defying all odds and
making history in the process. Whether you’re reading this with the Saints sitting at 10-1
or 11-0, here’s my advice: Quit worrying about being undefeated, and if the streak ends I
guarantee the team will be better for it. Don’t get greedy. We’re already amidst the best
start to a season in Saints history, as well as witnesses to the team’s longest winning streak
ever. Would you really only be happy if our team, which has never won back-to-back
playoff games much less been to the Super Bowl, goes undefeated? Just sit back and enjoy
the ride. Yes, we want to win a championship and no one around here likes to lose (we’ve
certainly seen enough of it to last a lifetime), but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
It looks and feels to me like the Saints and New Orleans are on the brink of something
special, so let’s not ruin it by being obnoxiously overconfident.
The Saints have a unique opportunity in the final few weeks of the season. The team
started the season as a juggernaut, creaming the first few teams they played. Then, things
got tighter and the wins became more difficult. That’s apt for the situation, as the 2007
New England Patriots
would attest to, and
it’s encouraging to see
the Saints step up,
even if some of their
technically on their
level. As the 2008
Saints would tell you,
playing the Rams
after their bye week has
“trap game” written
all over it. What’s so
encouraging is we’re
seeing the 2009 Saints
face situations very
similar to what the
2008 Saints faced,
only we’re seeing
markedly different
results. 3rd and shorts
for the offense are no
longer the bugaboo
they once were. A
comeback after getting
down by a couple
scores is no longer so
improbable, because
teams can no longer
simply load up in
coverage and wait
for Drew Brees to
throw the ball—Pierre
Thomas and Mike
Bell are now sharing
the load and giving
Sean Payton options as a playcaller.
Point being is that the scoring slump and the tight games can prove to be what really
turns this team around. Coming through those situations a little scratched and bruised will
allow the Saints to be ready for any situation, and these “big games,” against the Giants,
the Patriots, the Cowboys? Those are primers for the real deal in January and February.
Injuries? Yes, we’ve taken our lumps there, and as of this writing the Saints lead the NFL
in players on injured reserve. But we seem to be getting some luck, as Tracy Porter should
be ready for the playoffs. We also seem to be getting healthy at the right time, because
Sedrick Ellis and Jabari Greer should be back with plenty enough time to get back into the
swing of things by January. With the offense doing its best to shed the turnovers a unit of its
caliber can cough up from time to time, the Saints can actually hit their peak in December,
and for a team on its longest winning streak ever, that’s saying something.
One of the cooler aspects of how this season’s playing out is seeing so many Saints fans
make the trek with the team to other cities. It gives me the chills when the Saints score an
important touchdown when I can hear the faint (or loud, like it was in Miami) echoes of
our “Who Dat” chant in opposing teams’ stands.
I don’t want to get too far ahead of things, but the Saints’ signing of CB Chris McAllister
made me think, “Aw, looks like the wrong McAllister could get a Super Bowl ring with
the Saints,” since Deuce is obviously out of luck. If (and yes, that’s a big if) the Saints do
reach the big game and win it, I hope they take the course the Indianapolis Colts took after
they won the championship in 2006, when they gave a ring to Edgerrin James, who’d left
the team after the 2005 season to sign with the Arizona Cardinals as a free agent. Tony
Dungy, Peyton Manning and general manager Bill Polian felt so strongly about Edge’s
contribution to the team over the years that they felt the need to recognize James. I’d say
I’m among many who believe Deuce is worth at least that same recognition, and I’d even
hope that if there were somehow a roster opening on Super Bowl week, the team would
even sign Deuce to a one-day contract just so he could be inactive for the game. It’s a
shame no one’s signed Deuce after his release from the Saints (I thought a team like the
Patriots would’ve taken a flyer on him, at least), so let’s not forget the big guy when we hit
the top, okay?
10_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
by miss malaprop
[email protected]
oney has been tight this year for just about everyone, and between the current
recession and a shift in environmental consciousness we’re changing the way we
think about consumerism. And what time of year reeks of mass consumerism
more than the holidays? Maybe you want to make a change in your approach to gift
giving this year, either to save yourself some money and stress or to lighten your load on
the earth. Here are a few tips on how you can do just that.
Skip the gifts! Okay, you’re probably not willing to give up gift-giving entirely
this holiday season, but that doesn’t mean that you need to buy everyone a gift.
Be open and talk to your friends and family about your feelings and reasons for
wanting to cut back. They
might feel the same way and
would be happy to mutually
agree to skip the gifts this
year. You can always
exchange favors instead.
Offer to cook them a nice
dinner or babysit their kids
so they can have an evening
out on the town.
Buy local! Did you know
that shopping with locally
three times the economic
benefit as shopping at bigbox retailers like Best Buy
or Wal-mart? More of the
dollars you spend stay
in your local community
to help fund projects like
schools, roads, and more. Support your locally owned bookstores, boutiques,
and farmer’s markets as you buy gifts and prepare for holiday festivities. Check
out for a listing of nearly two thousand locally owned businesses
here in the New Orleans area.
Buy sustainable! Use the holidays as an opportunity to introduce your friends
to sustainable materials. Show them how soft a t-shirt made from a blend of
organic cotton and polyester made from recycled plastic bottles can be. There
are tons of cool gifts out there made from all sorts of recycled materials:
everything from wallets made from old neckties or bicycle tires to handbags
made from repurposed candy wrappers to candle holders made from used
farming equipment!
Buy handmade! Handmade goods are special and unique. When you make
your purchase, you’ll be able to connect with the person who made it, and you’ll
have a story to tell the recipient about their gift. You’re also helping to directly
support the artists and crafters who make these goods, and chances are you’ll
be giving an absolutely one-of-a-kind gift, so you don’t have to worry about
the recipient getting two of the same thing! Many crafters are eco-conscious
about the products that they make, so you can kill two birds with one stone
by giving cards that are handmade from recycled paper or a scarf that was knit
with repurposed yarns.
Buy practical! Don’t buy your family or friends frivolous gifts that they’ll
probably never need or use. It’s a waste of your money and they’ll feel bad
when they have to toss it years later. I’m not advocating that husbands give
their wives vacuum cleaners for Christmas, but if you know of a friend or family
member who has been complaining about some tool or useful item that they
need but will never get around to buying for themselves, make it a gift that they
can appreciate!
Buy consumable! Everyone has to eat and drink and everyone loves great
experiences, like a day at the spa or dinner at a favorite restaurant. These
experiences will be remembered much longer than some novelty item or trinket.
You can never go wrong with a bottle of wine or a gift set of gourmet fair trade
Charitable giving! What to get for that person who has everything? Are they
passionate about nature conservation? Do they help teach kids to read after
school? Make a donation in their name to their favorite charity. You’ll be giving
a gift that you can both feel great about.
Finally, a note about wrapping. There are so many creative ways to wrap your gifts in
reusable or recycled materials, so skip the standard giftwrap. Tie it up in a beautiful scarf,
give them a pretty reusable grocery tote that doubles as a gift bag or save some money
and use the funny pages from the newspaper as giftwrap. For even more ideas on how to
make your holidays a bit more earth friendly this year, check out the book Green Christmas:
How to Have a Joyous, Eco-Friendly Holiday Season by Jennifer Basye Sander, Peter Sander,
and Anne Basye. (Don’t forget to pick it up at a locally owned bookstore!)
by sara pic
[email protected]
adies and gentlemen, welcome to the show! Ahem, I mean, welcome to the first monthly column
dedicated to independent theater in the Greater New Orleans area. New Orleans stands now at
the forefront for alternative, underground, DIY, independent theater. Over and over again, people
involved in local theater tell me that they moved from New York City (where ostensibly any person wanting
to make it big in theater would live) to New Orleans. Why? Because not only are New Orleans’ independent
theater companies breaking boundaries and pushing limits, but they do so as part of a supportive, inclusive
community. We all come from somewhere here in NOLA and the same is true for independent theater
companies. Here, the people who produce, perform, write, direct, provide tech support and more for these
companies can find the community that is lacking in so many other major cities. Rather than just operate
in their own little circles or, even worse, in competition with each other, here in New Orleans, they find a
theater home. They can collaborate and conspire to bring us productions that are revolutionary, creative
madness. New Orleans is world-renowned for music, food, architecture—now we are also moving to stand
apart from the rest with the brilliance of our local, burgeoning independent theater community. I am honored
to be a part of this community, to document their work for ANTIGRAVITY and to bring their voices to these
pages so that you can also be a part of this wild, weird, welcoming community.
Last month brought New Orleans the highlight of the year for “wild, weird, fresh and original” theater, the
second annual New Orleans Fringe Festival. Building off the momentum generated by last year’s hugely
successful Fringe Fest, this year brought more performances, more venues and more audiences. Fringe doesn’t
end in November—the folks who bring you the festival also organize year-round events including Fringe
encores, showing the best of the fest and other fearless performers, outreach programs and theater training
workshops. Putting together an operation like Fringe is a huge undertaking and they are always in need of
volunteers. Look for more information on upcoming programs and other opportunities at
Also showing last month, but hopefully continuing on in future productions, was Voices From The Back Of
The Class, a Free Southern Institute original production. Voices was born out of an intensive class taught by
Junebug Productions Artistic Director John O’Neal, Program & Community Engagement Director Kiyoko
McCrae and local guest artists. The class, a group of all ages, races and theater experiences, spent several
weeks working together to write and produce Voices, a very personal show which used storytelling, poetry,
music and movement to discuss race, class, oppression, and the American Dream. The focus of this specific
production was on education. As McCrae explains, “Education is something we all go through, whether or
not it’s through public or private institutions and so it allowed for personal reflection and collective thinking.”
The show was wildly successful, selling out or nearly at the Marigny Theater for three nights. McCrae shares,
“We are considering touring the production to local public schools and taking it on the road to the United
States Social Forum taking place in Detroit in June 2010.” The class, “From Community to Stage: An
Introduction to Community Arts” will be offered again this spring. Applications are available now and are
first-come, first-served. If you are interested in booking the show or obtaining more information check out
So, after all the theater wildness of November, you would think everyone would take a break for December.
Not so! If anything, no one wants the party to end. Several productions that were part of the Fringe Fest
started before Fringe and several continued after. One show, Major Swelling’s Salvation Salve Medicine Show,
debuted at the Fringe Fest and played to sold-out audiences at the Marigny Theater. Fortunately, the creators
of the show, Goat in the Road Productions and Cripple Creek Productions, knew they had a good thing
and will be reprising the show for two weekends in December.
Major Swelling’s Salvation Salve Medicine Show, an original work by all local artists, brings its audiences
a little bit of everything—singing, dancing, acting, all as part of a medicine show. As Andrew Vaught,
playwright and performer, explains, “There is a big tradition in Louisiana about the medicine show.” From
the Civil War until the mid-20th century, politicians and famous performers would come in to hawk the
medicine, putting on lavish productions for their audiences and making millions of dollars. But (surprise,
surprise), the “medicine” itself was always a scam.
Chris Kapinstein, director, describes the medicine show as not just a live commercial for a medical
scam, but a theatrical performance that was the beginning of vaudeville-style theater. The medicine show
performers would cobble together a theatrical show based on each town they would come to, with different
acts on any given night. Kapinstein feels this style is symbolic of what New Orleans is going through in the
present day, that we are “cobbled together from the scraps of other things and made into something that is
incredibly entertaining.” Kapinstein elaborates that show is a “raucous comedy musical,” with its heart and
soul rooted firmly here in New Orleans.
The show features seven songs, composed by Will Bowling, who describes the music as having a
“bluegrass, gospel, Appalachia feel.” A live band also plays on stage with the cast. In case you don’t feel you
are getting enough for your money with just live bluegrass/gospel, never fear: like any good medicine show
that provides its audience with a little bit of everything, there is also one solid Andrew Lloyd Webber-style
big show tune number. Bowling explains that there is a nice interplay between the songs that are clearly part
of the performance of the medicine show to sell the salve and more songs that are more classic of musical
theater when, as Bowling laughs, the “MGM Grand style takes over and you burst into song because how
else can you describe how happy you are?”
In this production, the medicine show, led by Major Archibald Swelling, claims to have been in operation
over 160 years. Audiences catch Major Swelling and his medicine show performers in the present day, when
they are facing down-on-their-luck times. Major Swelling, who also claims to be a Civil War veteran, has
traveled from town to town to arrive here, selling his “salvation salve,” which he claims can cure illnesses and
bring back famous Louisiana politicians from the dead. As zombies, of course. Emilie Whelen, performer,
describes the show as much like a church revival; audiences should be prepared to be brought in and saved with
the salve, a “green goop,” as described by the cast and crew. (They told me not to worry, not too much green
goop flies into the audience during the show). But halfway through, the show shifts from revival mode to more
of a pharmaceutical commercial. As Whelen elaborates, “The medicine show hasn’t gone away at all, everyone
is still trying to come up with the cure-all for everyone.” Major Swelling and his medicine show crew are faced
with an unexpected challenge when the salve actually starts to work and nefarious people want to use the salve
for their own personal gains. But the underlying message of the show is about the faith to do it on your own and
cure yourself, a vital theme for today’s New Orleans. And yes, I did mention zombies. I will only say one more
thing: Huey P. Long as a tap-dancing zombie. What more do you need to know you cannot miss this show?
Major Swelling’s Salvation Salve Medicine Show plays December 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 10th, 11th, 12th at 8 pm.
$10 at the Marigny Theater, 2240 St. Claude Ave.
12_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
by derek zimmer [email protected]
ike the bands of yesteryear who—having built their reputations on the backs of the
punks—have since sworn off their anti-capitalist convictions and moved on to the bigger
ponds (i.e., coporate cesspools...?) of Rolling Stone and House of Blues, I feel as though
I too am gradually losing my connection to the DIY underground which I purport to love so
dearly. Alas, it is true, gentle readers. My fixation with the mainstream began—innocently
enough—with daring myself to see just how far I could take “tabling for the infoshop” into
unsuspecting clubs, and has subsequently progressed to my ultimate assimilation: leading me
down a self-destructive path of shameful VIP guest-lists and heedless neglect of my all-ages roots.
Perhaps you have already seen through my act and sensed, in the words of Cyndi Lauper, my
“true colors.” Perhaps you’ve figured out that—rather than trying to subvert ANTIGRAVITY
from the inside, utilizing my visceral propaganda to draw folks toward punk and anarchist
ethics—my real intentions lie elsewhere: to climb the corporate ladder and “make a name” for
myself, anticipating the day when—like a ragamuffin Judas Iscariot—I may finally abandon
“the kids” upon recognition from the mainstream! Well, as I decline into the soulless depravity
that entails 18+ shows that cost more than five dollars, I want to share two stories of my recent
adventures hearkening my status as a “sellout.”
One joy of tabling for the Iron Rail Book Collective has been the array of responses I’ve
received from different individuals at shows—responses which at times manifest themselves in
the most surprising of places. For instance, at the Toadies show I tabled at Republic! Together
with a co-conspirator I arranged my selection of books and other radical memorabilia on a table
at the back of the room before the show started, and before I could say “Long live the ’90s” a lady
named Erica approached me. She’d immediately spotted the keffiyeh (a Palestinian scarf) among
the items for sale and grown visibly excited. She promptly told me about the fair-trade shop she
runs Uptown called IN Exchange, and regaled
me with tales of a voyage she took many years
ago to a faraway land known as Ecuador
to work with a cooperative of indigenous
people there. Faced with the prospect of
forced removal from their land and selling
their precious mortal souls to the encroaching
logging and oil industries, she explained, the
Kichwa people chose the obvious third option
to maintain their cultural autonomy: selling
chocolate! You know, kind of like the premise
to that magnificent French film Chocolat.
Well, ok, not really...But seriously—if anyone
happens to own a copy of that movie, um, can
I please borrow it???
Erica went on to describe, in a beaming
monologue that would have made even
Mayor Ray Nagin proud, the extent to which the Kichwa fought and eventually triumphed
over the multinational thugs through their own chocolate empire: “These people would get on a
bus and commute an hour to this factory to make chocolate to sell to the U.S. And now they’re
making so much money, it’s become a choice for them!” She continued, her speech growing more
enlivened, “Being forced to give up your land to oil and logging companies—those are obviously
both bad options. But I also think it’s empowering when a community of marginalized people
say ‘Fuck you! We’re gonna organize and we’re gonna take control of resources!”
“The story you told me does sound very empowering,” I agreed. “But here’s my point: ‘fair
trade’ exists within the paradigm of unfair trade. You need a large fucked up system of inequality
in place in order to have a much smaller system of fair trade.” After all, a pervasive fair-trade
economy can never exist under global capitalism—which is predicated on the outright theft, not
exchange, of resources. To put it another way, you need to force people to give up their former
way of life on their landbase (usually by destroying it, or as industry chumps like to refer to
it—“developing” it) before the people will become a co-op of autonomous Willy Wonkas.
She got it. “So you guys...Would you consider yourselves anarchists?” She asked this as though
this was the most improbable thing in the world.
“Yes, exactly!” I said.
“Oh, OK!” she laughed, realizing. “That makes a lot more sense now!” See this, fellow
comrades: I don’t just sell books; I sell ideas.
I feel as though I’ve jumped the gun and forgotten to preface this column with just how
crucial a role the ’90s plays in my life. After all, it was the decade of my birth, but this is merely
peripheral. For much more significant—more so than the inception of jazz, blues, or even ’77
punk rock—was the birth of the most refined and influential genre of music on Earth: yes, my
friends—the aural opulence of which I speak is of course ’90s pop. I mean, let’s be honest here:
Who in actuality not only contributed more to music history but also just straight up rocked
harder—Muddy Waters or The Cranberries? We all know the answer. Don’t even try to debate
About an hour after my discussion with Fair Erica on the implications of the “free” market,
the Toadies took the stage. Let’s skip back for a moment to a year ago. Following my return from
a road trip with the D.C. band Turboslut last fall, during which time we’d jammed the Toadies
hit “Possum Kingdom” nonstop, I’d gone to see the Toadies for the first time when I heard of
they were making an appearance at the House of Blues—not necessarily out of an interest to see
them but simply to commemorate that life-affirming journey I’d recently arrived back from. On
one of the many car-ride sing-alongs to this ’90s gem over the course of that tour, someone had
proposed the idea that maybe the “speaker” of “Possum Kingdom” was a vampire. Attempting
to quell my curiosity and put an interesting spin on the evening (or perhaps in my fledgling go at
“music journalism”), at the end of their HOB set, I’d decided to simply ask the guitar player of
the Toadies if the myth shrouding this morbid song was in fact the case.
Standing behind the barricade where he was signing autographs, the guitarist laughed.
“Depending on which member of the band you ask, the answer is yes.” Conflicting interpretations
amongst band members...This went deeper than I first thought! He elaborated: “If you asked me,
I’d say yes. If you asked the guy who wrote it, he would say no.”
Well, I’d decided to do just that! And the singer, in turn, squashed the vampiric hypothesis—
but evasively declined further comment on the true meaning of the lyrics. The answer to this
age-old question, thus, remains a mystery...
Skipping ahead to their show at Republic, as the Toadies began their set, I took a leisurely
stroll from my table at the back to stand up front. It was a good half-hour before they finally
strummed the opening chords of that song, the one I’d come all the way out—yet again—just to
hear. But, man, it was worth it. For when it began, I was transported not only into the depths of
that claustrophobic veggie-oil tour van of one year past, but even farther back in time—to that
picturesque, childhood era of “back in the day,” whence the sound of 106.7 THE END flittered
through the backseat speakers of my mom’s car as I accompanied her on errands and shopping
My obsessive ’90s nostalgia doesn’t stop at the Toadies, I assure you! You see, like compulsive
record collectors, I myself have embarked on an unhealthy lifelong quest: to see every alternative
rock band who had a hit in the 1990s play live! I take this life goal so seriously that, at last
year’s South By Southwest, I nearly regressed into depression when my friend Mitch told me
how I missed the free Fastball show he’d stumbled into only hours before! Ah! So tragic! But
also scheduled to play at Republic nary more than a month after the Toadies’ appearance there,
and subsequently marked on my calendar, was Marcy Playground! Uh huh. As in, the one-hitwonders who wrote that incredibly catchy tune “Sex and Candy”! Which meant, you know, I
definitely wasn’t missing this show!
As alluded to before, I’m really falling off. I mean, what else could explain my recent early
departure from Bryan Funck’s Off With Their
Heads show at the Big Top in favor of catching
the seductress Peaches play yet again at the
damnable House of Blues?! This is but the first
step from the path of righteousness. Just give
me a few more years and I’ll have flip-flopped
on all my ideals—I’ll be drinking, doing coke,
sporting a faux-hawk, and justifying inflated
ticket prices! While the guilt from this first
punk betrayal still freshly festered in my mind,
there came the Marcy Playground show—on
the same night as the early punk rock show at
my Nowe Miasto stronghold!
Artist and zinester Cristy Road was doing
a reading as well as playing with her band
The Homewreckers from NYC—with local
superheroes Small Bones and crusties-playingmall-punk Crackbox also on the bill. In between soliciting help for Iron Rail’s table, collecting
donations, keeping an eye on loose Bywater dogs (and humans?), and forcing (um, I mean,
strongly encouraging) showgoers to eat my homemade hummus, my mind was set on getting to
that Marcy Playground show. Herds of Bywater/9th Ward bike warriors ventured from their
hibernating squats to Mid-City for our humble Nowe Miasto event—all for the sake of heavy
drinking and enjoying loud, raunchy music! Such devotion could bring a tear to the eye of any
face-tattooed crusty. In fact, by the time Corrina from Crackbox—the final band of the evening—
was howling for nudity between songs and showering the cavorting showgoers in beer, I was
actually having so much fun that I decided to quit worrying so much about the Republic show
and stay past my self-imposed curfew of 9:00pm.
Crackbox rapped up their set a bit before ten (house curfew), and—leaving in my wake littered
beer cans and general messiness for my poor roommates to clean up—I biked like a maniac
to Republic so’s not to miss Marcy Playground, another group who beyond one song I hadn’t
heard in years I knew nothing about. But as it turned out, I arrived with a good ten minutes to
spare before they even went on! Unbelievably, the number of people at the early house show
actually rivaled the crowd turnout for this legendary ’90s band! I’m unsure of how to interpret
this...Maybe we’re, like, winning.?! Or perhaps simply no one cares about the past millennium’s
greatest era of music anymore! Except me...And the members of Caddywhompus...
All jokes aside, as a punk writer struggling with just how much more publicity I wish to give
clubs like Republic and One Eyed Jacks, I feel like I should reflect on just what is central to me
in my life. For as much as I sometimes glorify “beating the system” or playing cat-and-mouse
with security personnel at “big” clubs, and though I sometimes bash the scene for its laundry
list of shortcomings, the DIY punk and hardcore community has given me more than I could
ever articulate and remains just as vital to me as it ever has. When it comes down to it, I go
to see bands I find interesting play anywhere—whether that’s in a living room, an obnoxious
bar, or even an arena. However, I will say that for all the allure the mainstream may offer,
it fundamentally lacks the connection and meaning inherent in a nonhierarchical, intimate,
and relational community of individuals who make music with no career-mindedness. The
passive and superficial consumption of entertainment, the popular new bands this month, the
dynamic of the alcohol-fueled “rock” show—these do not hold a stick to the authenticity and
passion of individuals who forgo the middleman and play music for its own sake to audiences
interested in simply that. No amount of mainstream shows—with their tawdry barricades,
dwarfing stages, and meaningless social scenes—could ever bring the same primal fulfillment
that has kept me hanging around for the greater portion of my young adult life. And at
great risk of perhaps making too grandiose a comparison, the final point I wish to convey is
this: Not dissimilar to the way by which the Kichwa people overcame the multinational giants
overtaking their culture, we too can produce, distribute, and promote music and ideas ourselves.
We don’t fucking need ’em.
“Just give me a few more years
and I’ll have flip-flopped on
all my ideals—I’ll be drinking,
doing coke, sporting a fauxhawk, and justifying inflated
ticket prices!”
“I’m holding out for a better deal, for something real.” —Gorilla Biscuits
this month’s trusted advisors: trixie minx
f you don’t know who Trixie Minx is yet, then God help you
and the dark and lonely cave you’ve been living in these past
few years. One of New Orleans’ most talented and tasseltwirling performers, Trixie Minx is the director and one of the
featured dancers for the Fleur de Tease Burlesque Revue. She
was also singled out by Heeb magazine as one of the top Jews
in the country to keep an eye on. Mazel Tov, Trixie! As one of
the chosen—not to mention her ability to disrobe in front of huge
crowds—she seems a natural to spread some holiday cheer and, er,
naked advice to this month’s seasonably depressed. You can catch
Fleur de Tease throughout the month of December, including the
6th at One Eyed Jacks and on the 11th and 18th at Irvin Mayfield’s
Jazz Playhouse. For more information, check out fleurdetease.
What’s your advice for dealing with shitty in-laws? My wife’s brotherin-law (sister’s husband) is a real asshole. After Katrina, for example, he
kept talking about how stupid everyone was for not leaving, etc. etc. With
all the holiday stuff coming up, I’m going to be seeing a lot of him and
having to listen to all his bullshit. I’m going to kill him, yuletide joy be
damned if I don’t find a way to deal with him.
There are certain things you grow to expect every holiday season,
such as Christmas lights, cold weather and unfortunately, shitty inlaws. I’m a firm believer in the “Kill them with kindness” process.
Every time your brother-in-law starts acting douche-y tune him
out and smile pleasantly. After a few minutes he will probably
get pissed that you haven’t given him any attention and go away.
However, if you are dealing with a relative who is not merely an
asshole but a crazy asshole, you have to take a different, more
direct approach. When he starts going off on a rant, look him
directly in the eye and say, “You are being a shitty in-law. I’m
going to get a drink and when I come back, shit will stop coming
out of your mouth.” If the shock of pure honesty doesn’t shut him
up I officially grant you the right to be freaky. Start telling him
your opinions (whether real or not) in graphic detail about how
you really feel about necrophilia.
There’s a bunch of hippies that live next door to me and they are always
having godawful drum circles and acoustic jam sessions in their backyard,
at any given time during the day or night (not to mention the constant
cloud of patchouli that hovers over their house!). I’ve tried being nice
about it and asking them to be quiet but they keep doing it. I’m so sick of
bad Neil Young covers and freestyle hippy music!!!! Short of going on a
rampage and ending up in prison, what can I tell or do to these freaks so
they’ll keep it the fuck down?????!!!!
Those silly hippies! While they often bring love and drugs their
camps aren’t best suited for city living. If you have asked them to
stop/quiet their music and they have not followed through, it is
time for you to take the next step. As a burlesque dancer, I don’t
regularly deal with hippie drum circles but I put together a few
choices that I would consider if I was in your situation. Look them
over and choose what works best for you! 1) You could go to a
higher authority such as the NOPD, but you will most likely be
screwed. First off, it is sort of an asshole move (karma doesn’t
look kindly on that) and second, they probably won’t do anything
anyways (at least not until you do go on a rampage). 2) You could
also act as a double agent and befriend the hippies. Once they
believe you to be one of their own you can trick them into not
playing music at their house but instead at a venue or park where they can spread their notes
of joy to other victims. 3) You can move. Granted this is not the ideal option but there are
some pretty sweet and cheap places in St. Roch (my hood) where privileged hippie youths
are too scared to go.
Ugh... I did it again... I drunk texted my ex. What is it about alcohol that makes those little buttons
on my phone seem so irresistible?!?!
Drunk texting is the new drunk dialing; you should feel trendy! Seriously though, since the
dawn of time drinking has inspired behavior that most of us would rather forget. I’m not sure
what exactly makes texting your ex at 3 in the morning so appealing, but everyone agrees it
is practically impossible to not text after a few cocktails. You may have texted because you
sincerely missed her or you may have just wanted a booty call. Either way, if you were really
really drunk you probably don’t remember. Next time, when you feel the urge to start pressing
all those shiny little buttons, get a trusted friend to hide your phone from you. You may end
up lost in the Quarter at the end of the night but at least you won’t drunk text.
14_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
Photo by Romney Photography
I can’t tell anyone else this horrible secret I have, so here goes: I don’t care about the Saints. Every
Sunday (and Monday) this year has been especially bad since I guess the team is doing okay, but it
pisses me off that it’s always on the front page of the TP and everyone’s Facebook status is about the
Saints (seriously, that is annoying people, knock it off !!!). I don’t know if I can wait until the end of
football season. And before you go accusing me of being an outsider, I grew up here my whole life...
and have had to deal with this my whole life. I’m not sure there’s any advice you can give me, but I
had to tell someone. Thanks.
I’m glad you felt like we were close enough friends to share your secret with me and all the
ANTIGRAVITY readers out there. I’m not a big football fan myself, but I like anything that
brings all the wonderful people in our community together. New Orleans has been through
some rough times but everyone knows the people here are the best. Don’t worry so much
about the Saints’ good publicity and try to enjoy the fact that your hometown is happy.
interview by dan mitchell
photo by rob walbers
16_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
he past year has certainly been
an eventful one for Jay Lindsey,
better known to most as Jay
Reatard, the twenty-nine-yearold garage-rocking king of Memphis. He’s
released a killer new full-length album,
Watch Me Fall, that saw Reatard’s sound
mature and reach a new level with respect
to his songwriting chops, his rhythm section
quit in early October just before he was
set to embark upon Europe, and he was
hand-picked to open three shows for The
Pixies on their current national tour. One
would be extremely hard pressed to make
a case for Jay Reatard being a dull figure;
his public persona simply does not allow
for it, with his many witnessed brawls and
drunken exploits, and his passion for his
music becomes apparent with just a brief
look into his creative process. When all’s
said and done, Reatard proves
to be one of today’s more
exciting artists, both in how
much he has grown with respect
to his music and all the hilarities
that seem to follow him. So, in
light of all the madness that has
been just another year for him,
ANTIGRAVITY thought it
fitting to talk with Mr. Reatard
and try to gain perspective
from the man himself before
he swings through town on his
current national tour.
One was going to be with my soon-to-be roommate
Jeffrey Novak [Ed.: A formidable Tennesssee rocker who
has played in the Rat Traps and more recently in Cheap Time
with Jemina Pearl and Nathan Vasquez, both formerly of Be
Your Own Pet] and I was supposed to do a single with my
friend Jered [Gummere] from the band The Ponys, and
then the third one was supposed to be a collaborative
single with Chris Knox. With Chris falling out, the idea
of a trio of singles has kind of been put to the side, so
I need to figure out who’s going to be the third person
and get some time and really start to knock these things
out. I even had an idea of being more ambitious with it
and recording six singles with six different people and
then compile them in to some sort of LP format with
some sort of collective name. I don’t know how that
would work. I don’t know what we would call it; we
definitely wouldn’t want to call it “Jay & Friends” or
anything, but we’ll have to figure out something.
That sounds exciting. In addition to what you have
talked about before with Chris Knox and loving his
music, one of my favorite artists, in addition to Chris
Knox, is Brian Eno. I just love what the two of them
do within the pop song format to keep things a bit
oddball and interesting without loosing any of the
Bar to the Saturn Bar and all those smaller, dive-type
places; they’ve always been fun. My least favorite thing
is when I came down right after the Hurricane [Katrina,
obviously] and played the Circle Bar and the electricity
was jacked and we had a huge power surge and it fried
all of my tube amps. I guess that’s just how it goes, with
everything being kind of crazy around that period.
You said, a few weeks back, that when you were
over in Europe doing your tour, that you walked in
to a venue and W.A.S.P. was playing. Did you get an
opportunity to hang out with those guys at all?
[Laughs] No. We played at a venue and they brought us
over to eat dinner at another venue, and we looked up
at the stage when we were eating our food and we were
like, “Holy Shit, that’s W.A.S.P. Blackie Lawless is in
the building. I hope he comes down and eats meatloaf
with us.” I don’t know, he was probably painting his
face or something.
I heard, I don’t know if you have any thoughts, that
the old guys you were playing with, Billy and Stephen
[Pope], have been playing some gigs with that kid
from San Diego, Wavves.
Oh yeah. Little Nate. Yeah, they joined his band; I’m
not exactly sure why, [but] it’s cool. I
obviously have no hurt feelings about
it and I’m completely confident that my
music has a lot more substance than that
guy. I mean, I like some of the stuff he
does, but I was recording on a four-track
when I think that kid was eating Gerber.
You know, I don’t feel threatened at
“I’ve played everywhere
from that place to the
Circle Bar to the Saturn
Bar and all those smaller,
dive-type places; they’ve
always been fun.”
ANTIGRAVITY: I want to talk a little about your
new album, Watch Me Fall. I heard that you holed up
in Memphis for about a month to record the songs.
What sort of process do you go through as far as
writing and recording your songs?
Jay Reatard: I actually spent about six months on this
record and I recorded multiple versions of every song.
For me, usually, I write a ton of songs. I might demo
out thirty or forty songs for an album and then pick
out fifteen or twenty that I really like. I might record
two or three different versions of each of those songs,
approaching them differently. Some may be faster or
slower, some might be acoustic-based, some might
be more toned down. And then really concentrate on
sequencing to keep a narrative flow to the record, where
there is a beginning, a middle and an end. I always pick
the first song and the last song of each side and try to
fill everything in from there to try and make things
cohesive rather than just a collection of songs. Not on
any sort of Yes level of prog; no serious concepts, but
loose concepts. Sometimes it can take a long time or it
can be really quick. This record, I recorded two different
versions of it and one version just did not come out, and
one did.
As far as collaborations go with other artists, being
down here in New Orleans, I know you have worked
with [King] Louie Bankston before, and I remember
hearing something about how before Chris Knox fell
ill, you were planning something with him as well.
Got anything coming up?
I was going to do this series of collaborative singles.
catchiness. Do you have any thoughts as far as how
you approach writing your songs? I mean, your new
songs are very immediate but you have still retained
your sound throughout.
Yeah. Both of those people, Eno and Chris Knox, are
huge influences on me and obviously a lot of what they
do to make it quirky is production. They both insist
in recording their own stuff and being in control of
their own stuff. Eno might work with an engineer or
producer from time to time, and same with Chris, and
it’s always been really important to me being in control
of all the different aspects. It’s the same three chords
and the same five or six melodies that make up every
rock ’n’ roll song, so it’s all about all of the accidentals
and the production that you put in to it to make it sound
Did you handle all the production yourself or did you
work with anyone particularly on your latest?
No, I recorded everything but one song in my dining
room, by myself. Billy [Hayes], my old touring
drummer, played on about four songs because I became
a bit frustrated playing them myself. I used a cello player
on a couple of tracks. I went in to the studio to cut one
of the songs. It was mainly because I wanted to use his
Wuhrlitzer organ and whatnot.
You’ve played here quite a few times already—are
there any favorite places that you enjoy hanging out
in New Orleans? Where do you enjoy playing?
Most of the time I spend hanging out with my friends
at their house when I’m there. I think One Eyed Jacks
was all right last time; the show seemed pretty good.
I’ve played everywhere from that place to the Circle
As far as your tour is going, who are
you going to be playing with in your
upcoming shows after you jump off the
bill with The Pixies?
Well, after that tour ends it’s up in the
air. I think right now the plan is…I
play in another band from time to time
called the Useful Eaters, a punk band from Memphis,
I play bass in that band and my buddy Seth [Sutton]
sings and plays guitar, so I think what we are going to
do is reverse those roles and he is going to play bass
and fill in for a while. There is a drummer from Florida
that Eric [Friedl, former member of the Oblivians and
owner of Goner Records] knew who started learning a
lot of the songs. He sent me videos of himself playing
drums along to them.
In the past, you have always worked very closely
with Goner Records [The Memphis store and label of
considerable cultish fame]. What prompted the sign
to Matador [Records]?
I’ve been with Goner, a Memphis label, and they are
super-rad and it has served its purpose and they are a
great label and they are doing quite well. My goal was
to be on a different label through another part of the
country. I just kept moving on and I got to a point where
it was like, “Well, is it time to sign to a major label, or
a bigger indie?” I just didn’t want to make that leap to
be on a major label. I felt that that was the wrong idea.
It was an option, for sure, but I still wanted to roll with
an indie and still kind of try to up the ante a little bit
and get exposure to different people. I wanted to break
out of the punk rock ghetto slightly without forgetting
about it or losing any of the stuff that I think is really
important about it. I just wanted to forge a different way
and try to sell records a different way. There is nothing
wrong with either way, they are just different.
Jay Reatard plays One Eyed Jacks on Monday, December
7th with Missing Monuments. For more info, go to
by dan fox
elix will stock your coolers,
pour your drink, cook your
food, wash your dishes, and
open for your crappy band.
It’s what they do for New Orleans: they
fill in the gaps like so much caulk, doing
whatever work needs to be done to keep
the train moving. With their twisted
brand of blues and raunchy proto-rock
and roll, Felix can slip between Bywater
haunts and the dives of the Lower
Garden District with ease. I caught up
with the three members (John Curry:
guitar and vocals, Adem Vant Hull:
drums, Thomas Furtado: keyboards)
on an otherwise sleepy Monday night
to talk about their sounds, struggles
and of course, their mascot, Lucille.
Between the three of them it seems at
least one guy is always on the clock, so
we met at the Balcony Bar, where
Furtado was bartending. He won’t
be there for long, though, as he’s
moving down to Brazil, sending
Felix into official “hiatus.” But
they’re not going quietly: Felix will
be hosting a blow-out, free show at
the Circle Bar later this month,
with special guests DJ Jubilee, MC
Trachiotomy and DJ Urine. There
might also be a sky-tracker parked
out front so you can find the show
from any point in the city, proving
once and for all that despite their
rough exterior, slacker vibe and
razor-tongued banter, Felix is
really here to help.
18_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
ANTIGRAVITY: Where did you all come from, because no one
in Felix is originally from New Orleans, right?
John Curry: Is this really happening? Your butt.
Adem Vant Hull: I’m from Minneapolis; John is a military child
and Thomas is from outside of D.C.
How did you meet each other?
AVH: This block. This bar, probably.
JC: I worked at Nacho Mama’s; Adem worked at the Bulldog and
Thomas worked here. And I slowly worked at all three of them.
Adem, you told me once it was over the Fugazi documentary,
Instrument that you and John Curry bonded.
AVH: We were watching the Fugazi thing and he pushed pause like
14 minutes and 22 seconds into the film and told me that he knew
why I played drums the way I do.
JC: Because he had a big bell, which is lost now.
AVH: Yeah, I had a big bell and I like to hit my snare a lot. I play
like the dude from Fugazi plays, essentially, and John figured it out
and—I feel like a jack-ass doing this. I’m sorry. Do I have to be like
Haven’t you ever been interviewed before?
JC: Yeah, on the radio once. I swore on ‘OZ and ‘TUL. My
friends in Chicago heard it. They listened on the internet and my
friends’ parents heard me say “fuck” on ‘OZ. It was pretty exciting,
You swear on all of them and then you go
Thomas, what’s your version of how Felix got together?
Thomas Furtado: Me and Curry wanted to start a mock band to
make fun of all the other bands that suck so much around here, and
Adem jumped on board too. We were going to try and write poppy
songs people like to go see but then it ended up being really cool.
JC: All the bands around here, most bands—they’re parodies of
themselves... We were just going to be assholes, pretty much, is
what we were going to do.
AVH: Play cheesy shit, play indie music, essentially.
JC: Be one of those bands, for novelty’s sake.
What kind of music?
AVH: You know, shit that everybody likes. Indie rock. Something
with a trumpet in it.
AVH: Goldfish-eatin’ music!
JC: Yeah, man.
So what happened to that?
AVH: Because we started writing songs and we went “Wow, this
shit’s pretty cool.”
JC: The songs were more country before in a weird way, but now
it’s loud as fuck. But it’s much better to kick ass than poke fun at.
So, that’s what happened.
AVH: Instead of playing shows where people could stand 10 feet
away from you and engage in a full-on conversation and not pay
attention—now we’re loud and you have to pay attention.
Adem, let’s talk about your drum set up. You have all kinds of
stuff around you, like a keg that you play. Is that the same one
every time?
AVH: I bring the same keg I stole from the Bulldog. When I forget
it, usually the club will have one. The Banks Street Bar is the only
bar that wouldn’t let me play their kegs. They thought I would break
them with a drumstick... Percussion-wise, I saw this band called
Skeleton Key once and they had one regular drummer and then
another drummer with a bunch of pots and pans and shit. I was
doing it, not to the extent that I do in Felix now, but I like all that
secondary shit.
What else are you working with?
AVH: Quarter-pans, half-pans, pan-lids. There was a frying pan...
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve drummed on?
AVH: Um... backstage light bulbs at One Eyed Jacks.
You drummed on a light bulb?
AVH: Well, not very hard but yeah, I did. With the Monotonix
That was a cool show, did you like playing with them?
AVH: Yeah, that was a blast.
JC: That Monotonix show was the shit. That was the best show
we’ve been part of. That and Jubilee. That was awesome, too.
I think Monotonix might be one of the few bands that freak out
more than you, John. Can you describe what’s going on in your
head when you’re on stage?
JC: I don’t know... you just gotta get the voodoo going. Like
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins; like Old Dirty Bastard. Like Dr. Seuss.
John, you have a reputation for puking on stage. What determines
if you’re going to puke in the middle of a set?
JC: I have no idea. I get really worked up, I guess. I don’t feel sick
or anything and it’s not because I drank too much or anything. It’s
happened completely sober a number of times, so... I just get really
worked up. I sweat a lot.
AVH: He’s really good about puking, too. He’ll make sure he
doesn’t hit anybody. He’ll puke by my drums. But I never noticed
you puked.
JC: Neither does Thomas.
T: I only look at Adem.
With your arrangement (drums, keyboards, guitar) it’s easy to
make a comparison to the Doors. How do you feel about that?
T: I loathe that comparison. We don’t sound anything like the Doors,
at all! Unless you’re comparing Curry to Jim Morrison, which, you
know... Also, I don’t really play traditional keyboard parts, like very
melodic, stuff like that. It’s a lot noisier, almost guitar parts rather
than keyboard parts on top of driving bass lines and stuff that’s not
very Doors-y at all.
How often does the comparison come up?
T: Every few shows.
Well, there’re worse bands to be compared to.
JC: Yeah, but there’s better bands to be compared to!
You’ve been on tour a bunch. What’s one good tour story?
AVH: Y’all remember when we caught fleas in Knoxville? It was the
first show of our second tour. We had to drive from New Orleans to
Knoxville, it was like 10 hours. And we played at this place and the
dude who booked the shows, his name was Mr. Coffee. He let us stay
in his house. He had a bitchin’ view of downtown Knoxville. It was
a bad show but we had a bed and a couch to stay on. And Lucille,
my dog that comes with us, started freaking out and rubbing all over
the bed and going crazy. So I opted to go sleep in the van with the
dog, not really knowing what the fuck was wrong with her.
JC: We’re trying to lay down on the couch and all of a sudden
I notice on my leg moving little black jobbies. Oh wait, these are
fleas, man! This is bad! And the next day they jumped in a lake!
AVH: Yeah, Big Bone Lick State Park in Union, Kentucky! Gave
my dog three flea baths in a beautiful lake in Kentucky.
How do you take a dog on tour?
AVH: Actually, it’s not that bad. My dog is 2 years old and she’s
been to 28 states. When you’re riding in the van, she’s cool; she’s
happy to be around us. She loves all of us. Some clubs will let her in;
some clubs are cool. I’m good about finding a park or playing fetch
with her during the day when we’re not doing shit. It’s good to have
her around because when you live in a van with two other dudes
that you spend a month with, it’s good to walk your dog and—no
offense—get away from them.
What are some good tips if someone wants to take their dog on
AVH: Make sure you have a good dog; one that won’t run away.
JC: Your dog has to be personal.
AVH: My dog grew up in a bar; she knows what the fuck to do. I
slept in the van in Mobile, Alabama in late July... that sucks but
other than that, it’s cool. She likes it... That dog’s been to more
Felix shows than anybody, other than us. For real. And she’s been
to more states than most people. Twenty-eight.
Why did you name your dog Lucille?
AVH: It’s not because of BB King; it’s a little Richard song, ya dig?
Little Richard!!! Luci-ah!!!!
JC: Seriously, Little Richard is the real king of rock and roll. The
dude was way out way before anybody. Little Richard is the shit.
He was there, kicking ass. Little Richard weirded people out, and
was a strange man—still is a strange man. And he didn’t get a lot of
respect or anything for a long-ass time.
AVH: God bless Little Richard.
How are you guys received outside of New Orleans?
TF: We do great. Cincinnati is one of our best places to play. St.
Louis we do real good in. It’s always the smaller cities that we do a
lot better in. Detroit...
AVH: We’ve played countless shows to four people, in a really good
bar that we spent a lot of time trying to book. And it just sucks, And
you make ten bucks and you don’t get any drinks...
JC: Bartenders generally like it; the staff enjoys it, so that’s good.
TF: Oh man, Phoenix Hill, in the middle of Kentucky, dude!
We booked this place, this huge, fucking place—they have three
different bars inside and there’s some cheesy country guy playing
a big show in the downstairs bar so we have to play in the rooftop
garden bar—
JC:—Which looks like the food court at a mall!
T: And that was the only place we cleared out everyone. There
was nobody left. The bartender left, the sound guy left—it was just
us playing. And they gave us a DVD of the show when we were
JC: We played for a bunch of families at a pizza parlor in Fairhope,
Alabama. That was pretty awesome. Three free pizzas, only one
free pitcher.
TF: That’s MC Trachiotomy’s hometown. We played with him out
How did you meet up with Trachiotomy, originally? You seem to
have a made a real connection.
JC: We went to play this battle of the bands at Keystone’s in Fat
City. We did it as a lark and found out afterwards that they were
going to do it, too... We show up and everybody else can’t be inside
until they have to play because they’re all middle and high school
kids and their parents are all there. We play first, and Trachiotomy
and them just pull in right before we play. They played with the
Butthole Surfers in New York and drove back down to play this
bullshit. And they were the only people who could watch it and
they sat at the end of the bar, drinking. And then we met them.
TF: We lost. The little kids won.
AVH: Hell yeah. We got our ass kicked.
You recorded with Trachiotomy most recently. What was that
process like?
AVH: The sun was up the whole time. We ate a bunch of
JC: We set up in the living room. Thomas’ amp was in the
AVH: You were behind the bar and I was up in the front, where the
show part is.
TF: Pretty much live-tracked everything and did the overdubs later.
We have to do it that way. Our other album before that, we did it in
a “studio” studio and tracked it, right? It sucked so bad.
JC: It can’t be done; it just doesn’t work so much. It sucks playing to
headphones. That’s balls!
Amen. So, are you going to put out this recording
JC: Yeah, dude. Sex Pistols style... The other stuff ’s kind of bullshit.
The first thing is representational of what we were doing at the time
but nothing like what it is now. The second thing sucked because it’s
like a Nickelback album.
NF: That’s the one we did in the studio. It’s so over-produced.
Curry’s voice is auto-tuned, my shit’s compressed...We spent a
week every day in that studio.
JC: When he did a final mix thing, I didn’t go…
NF: Curry was on a bender. We had to pick him up and carry him
to the studio. He also made inappropriate comments at my little
sister, who was 15. I flew her down here for her sixteenth birthday
and she was going to play cello with us on the album. And I got
her a cello and everything, but she was too freaked out by John
Curry to do anything. He was in the studio with the headphones on
and instead of singing lyrics he was talking shit to my sister. But he
doesn’t remember.
JC: I honestly don’t. But you told me you thought she was funny.
Fuck off!
AVH: And then you tried to walk home from Elmwood. No,
motherfucker, get in the van!
Thomas, what are you going to do when in you’re in Brazil?
JC: I’m bringing my keyboard down there. I’m going to live in Sao
Paulo for a little bit, check out the music scene, you know, learn
something new. Got a lot of good stuff going on down there. Rob
Mazurek, who used to be here, is down there and thinks it’s the shit.
He’s got an awesome band called Sao Paulo Underground that books a
bunch of shows. It’s got a bitchin’ scene so I’m going to check it out.
What are you guys going to do in the meantime?
AVH: Check out New Orleans. I don’t know, we were playing
together kind of before Mr. Thomas came around.
JC: We’re going to play fucked up country music for a bunch of
people. It’s going to be like... man, fuckin’... I don’t know.
AVH: I’m the only dude that knows his tempo. John Curry tempo;
it’s not really describable.
Since you are going on hiatus or whatever, got anything you want
to get off your chest?
JC: Seriously, Felix is kickin’ ass. Felix is better than most bands
going down. A bunch of people doing the same shit: cheap words
and old-timin’ it and a bunch of nothin’s. It’s all a parody of itself.
AVH: We break drumsticks, guitar strings and fuckin’ amps all the
JC: And we’ll open up your show and not bitch about it. “Uh, uh
we don’t want to go first, man.” It’s cuz you’re a bitch, man!
AVH: Y’all lost the best opening band in New Orleans!
JC: Jerry Lee Lewis said “Nobody follows the killer” and he set his
piano on fire!
TF: Felix is for the children!
Felix plays their final show at the Circle Bar on Wednesday, December
16th with DJ Jubilee, MC Trachiotomy and DJ Urine. For more info,
go to
by erin hall
re you sick of the same old Christmas songs playing
nonstop every year from Halloween to New Years? Do
you feel like you might strangle a family member if you
have to hear “Silver Bells” one more time? Well we’ve got the
cure for your yuletide blues. May ANTIGRAVITY present an
alternative batch of Christmas goodies; some touching…some
comical…some just downright weird. But certainly not your
average mix.
The Vandals – Oi to the World
California punk band The Vandals has existed under the radar
for the majority of their 20-year career. In 1996 they released a
Christmas album called Oi To the World. Its title track would go
on to gain some popularity when covered by friends of the band,
a young, pre-fame No Doubt. It touches on a familiar trope:
punks vs. skins. Long story short: a punk and a skinhead get into
a fight, nearly kill each other, spot the north star, are inspired to
help each other, share a round of bourbon, peace falls like snow.
Not a bad message if you think about it. As the chorus touts: “If
God came down Christmas Day / I know exactly what he’d say
/ He’d say “Oi to the punks and Oi to the skins but Oi to the
world and everybody wins!”
The White Stripes – Candy Cane Children
“Candy Cane Children” was originally written by Michigan
alt band Laughing Hyenas in 1987. The White Stripes covered
it for an indie Christmas compilation entitled Surprise Package:
Volume 2 in 2002. Not exactly a bright and cheery holiday tune,
it nonetheless kicks ample amounts of yuletide ass with Jack
White’s signature fuzzy guitar punctuated by Meg’s remedial,
lobotomized drumming. With lyrics like “you’re alone son /
in the middle of a million / and nobody knows how to talk to
children” I wouldn’t recommend it for the family gift exchange.
But perhaps if you have Seasonal Affective Disorder (how SAD)
and an appreciation for filthy guitar breaks, you’ve found your
new Christmas standard.
Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today
No, you’re not seeing things. If you watched SNL in the 90s you
probably remember a seasonal skit by the same name, starring
Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan, Horatio Sanz and Chris Kattan
that included coordinating sweaters and the badass sounds of a
ukulele and a Casio keyboard. The effortlessly cool lead singer
Ray Charles – Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Featured on Putumayo Records’ 2008 Christmas compilation,
A Jazz & Blues Christmas, this cover finds The Genius of Soul
transforming the story of that infamous outcast reindeer from
a fun kiddy sing-along to a sexy, soulful, totally diggable tune.
Opening with a big-band-esque horn intro, Charles slithers
into the song with his signature deep vocals, backed by a funky
blues guitar. The jazzy horns are a familiar Christmas song
staple - an essential building block - the eggnog if you will. But
that guitar - oh that guitar - that’s the delicious whiskey that
gives it all the kick.
The Pogues – Fairytale of New York
Released on the seminal Pogues album If I Should Fall From Grace
With God, “Fairytale of New York” has been voted the “Best
Christmas Song of All Time” by various media outlets. Set in the
mind of a young man spending his Christmas Eve in a New York
City drunk tank, it is at times both tender and bitter. It tells the tale
of two Irish immigrants who fall in love in New York amidst the
drugs and drink and punks. As anyone familiar with the legend
of Sid and Nancy knows, declarations of undying love are often
followed by fistfights (or alleged stabbings). This is illustrated
perfectly by the line “we kissed on the corner and danced through
the night” being closely followed by a stanza that includes “you
scumbag you maggot / you cheap lousy faggot / Happy Christmas
your arse I pray God it’s our last!” Ah, punk love.
Rufus Wainwright – Spotlight on Christmas
I feel like Rufus Wainwright could release a Flag Day album
and I’d still be excited to hear it. His lush, sensual vocals
have tackled covers from Judy Garland to his masterful
take on Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” But this original
Christmas song about unconditional love captures the spirit
of the season for me. It’s a very Grinch-esque declaration of
Christmas not coming in boxes, bags or bows. The best thing
about Christmas is that, for the most part, people try for a
few weeks to be less shitty to each other. He muses on the
holy family, singing “and they were each one quite odd /
a mensch, a virgin and a God / ……/ but don’t forget that
what kept them above / is unconditional love” Regardless
of religious beliefs, it’s a message everyone could use a little
more of these days.
Tom Waits – Christmas Card From a Hooker in
Often introduced live by a slurred, topsy-turvy version
of “Silent Night,” this tune, off Waits’ 1978 album Blue
Valentine, is more of a spoken word piece than a song per
se. It is the tale of a Christmas card from a former lover.
She tells of how she’s doing great with a man who “gave
me a ring / that was worn by his mother / and he takes me
out dancin’ / every Saturday nite.” She goes on to reminisce
about their time together and muse on what she would do if
she could get back all the money they spent on dope. After
stanzas of happy declarations, she finally comes clean with
“hey Charley / for chrissakes / do you wanna know the truth
of it? / I don’t have a husband / he don’t play the trombone
/ and I need to borrow money to pay this lawyer / and hey
Charley / I’ll be eligible for parole / come Valentine’s Day.”
Tongue firmly inserted into cheek. Love it.
The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight
Included on 1989’s Brain Drain (the last Ramones album with
Dee Dee on bass), “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight
Tonight)” was my first introduction to “non-traditional”
Christmas fare. It’s pretty much canned perfection in that it
showcases Joey & Co.’s signature adaptation of the girl group
sound, augmented with an irresistibly boppy beat. It takes a
light, poppy Christmas song and drowns it in whiskey and
cigarette smoke. And it’s about 120 seconds long. Who could
ask for anything more?
The Kinks – Father Christmas
Released as a single in 1977, “Father Christmas” is classic
Kinks. While it begins with the gentle tinkling of the bells,
soon the rolling snare and snarling guitar break through.
Ray Davies sings of a department store Santa that is attacked
by a gang of poor kids who demand he give them cash for
Christmas and save the “silly toys” for “the little rich boys”.
One of the boys even asks Santa to give his dad a job for
Christmas because “he’s got a lot of mouths to feed” in a line
that probably rings painfully true for a lot of people this year.
Lest you be left with the impression that these hooligans are to
be vilified for beating up Santa, Davies sneaks in the line “have
yourself a Merry Merry Christmas / have yourself a good time /
but remember the kids who got nothing / while you’re drinking
down your wine”
The man’s use of pause and restraint is so full of yearning
and ache that he is THE definitive voice of soul music. And
while some more “traditional” versions of this song may
conjure images of a Norman Rockwell Christmas, Redding’s
adaptation brings focus to the intense desire to be with the
one you love at the holidays. So much so, in fact, that it was
used in the 2003 film Love Actually. Pair with some spiked
hot cocoa for an excellent Christmas sexy times track. You’re
welcome in advance guys.
Fats Domino – Frosty The Snowman
Thought I’d throw some hometown flavor into the mix.
And who better than that most underrated of the early rock
pioneers, Fats Domino. While he may not have the predatory
growl of a Chuck Berry or the flash and pizzazz of a Little
Richard, Fats’ joints are infectiously danceable. I dare you
to play this track and not want to clap along. If you do, you
certainly lack a heart and possibly a soul. Totally grandma
and kid friendly, so feel free to drop it into the family mix.
of The Strokes has included a cover of the infamous tune on
his recent solo release Phrazes For The Young (which I review
on page 21 of this issue). Cue the sleigh bells and synthesizer.
While nothing can touch the comedic value of the original (just
look at Tracy Morgan’s baby-arms dance!), Casablancas injects
a goofy song with some swagger and undeniable style. I’m
calling it - new Christmas classic!
My Morning Jacket – Santa Claus is Back in Town
Originally an Elvis holiday staple, “Santa Claus is Back in
Town” appeared on the MMJ holiday EP My Morning Jacket
Does Xmas Fiasco Style. And while this cover can’t match the
raw, sexual snarl of the King’s, Jim James’ deep, throaty voice
is a perfect fit for bluesy, slick lyrics like “got no sleigh with
reindeer / no sack on my back / you’re gonna see me coming in
a big black Cadillac.” If you like your Christmas more naughty
than nice, this is your tune.
Otis Redding – White Christmas
Forget Bing Crosby. I want my nostalgia with a dose of real
soul. If you don’t like Otis Redding’s voice, I don’t like you.
20_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
Keith Richards – Run Rudolph Run
Last but certainly not least, is Rolling Stone Keith Richard’s
cover of Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run.” It’s a bit of a
sleazy, roadhouse take on Christmas, but the groove is
righteous. And it takes us back to the days when Richards
actually had vocal cords, as opposed to the heavily pickled
tubes he’s currently toting around in his throat. I prefer his
take, as it comes off a bit grittier. But that could also be my
strong aversion to overly praising Chuck Berry ever since I
heard about him recording those women peeing. Santa would
never do that.
That’s all folks. I hope you enjoyed this alternate suggestion
for a soundtrack to the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. If
you’re interested in downloading songs from this mix, visit You’ll be directed to iTunes,
where you can preview or purchase many of the rockin’ tunes
included above (except “Candy Cane Children,” which is so
obscure you can only find fuzzy clips on YouTube – sorry!)
Happy Holidays!
ogos is the second solo release from
the lead singer of Deerhunter,
Bradford Cox. Originally, the Atlas
Sound moniker was an outlet for a
teenaged Cox to express his musical
desires with the minimal recording
equipment that was available—a dual
cassette karaoke machine. These days, Bradford and Deerhunter
create a blessed union of reverbed vocals, electronics, and dreamy
guitars that leaves a unique mark on listeners. This latest array of
indie pop majesties features contributions by Animal Collective’s
Noah Lennox and Laetitia Sadier, Stereolab’s singer. Logos has had
a rocky start, though. Since rough renderings of the album were
leaked in August of 2008 (complete with a healthy dose of blog
drama from Cox himself—he even threatened to scrap the project all
together), there has been a certain buzz around these eleven tracks.
The jewel of this album (aside from the Sadier-supported “Quick
Canal”) has to be “Sheila,” a bittersweet love song filled with some
of the catchiest hooks of the year and assuredly Logos’ best example
of Cox’s impassioned vocals. Reminiscent of the pop melancholy of
Yo La Tengo’s And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out or moments
on Thom Yorke’s The Eraser, Logos has a moody undercurrent, but
also is fit with compelling, even uplifting, music. —Emily Elhaj
fter the strange excellence of
Japanese Heavy Rock Hits V.1,
expectations were high for V.2, and
while it’s not quite as strong as V.1 it’s
still a nice piece of rock. Like V.1, the
first track is a more traditional Boris
song, while the second sees the band pushing their boundaries.
“Heavy Metal Addict” is little more than a throbbing bass drum and
chugging riff, a repetitive, chanted distillation of heavy metal to its
core. The track’s bottom end grind stomps along in a martial rhythm
while echo chamber chants of, “H. M. A.,” recall the shouting
choruses of old school AC/DC. In stark contrast, “Black Original”
is a sleazy, slinky slice of disco rock. Vaguely electro drums beat out
a two-step beat while reverb-laden guitars scratch out a sweaty lead.
“Black Original” swims in a haze of sound; between Atsuo’s smooth
vocals, a sexy funk bassline and burbling synth production, it’s Boris
like never before. It’s an interesting formula and once again they’ve
delivered on the promise of this series, but I’m still not sold on why
this couldn’t have been a proper LP. With one more volume to go,
let’s hope Boris seals the deal with something great. —Mike Rodgers
ire works, but trust is broken.
Everything changing will
unchange again. Every day’s changing
to remain the same. I don’t know
when the beginning ends or when the
end begins. I want to twist the knife a
bit deeper, to siphon the love from the
heart’s I believed in. Still you say your deaf to depravity, but that
can’t be true, ’cause I know you can hear me. I’m going to put you
in the hospital. I rain my love. You will learn to love me. We will
make history. I will pity you ’til you’re pretty. And now you can’t
breathe. Dethroning the dream, I stripped from the skin but kept it
in, a synthetic world without end. You miss the neon lights; it’s all
plastic now. A sympathetic world, without end, hums a hymn of
misdirection—I will remember your name.”
Cold Cave is not for the faint of heart and should not be attempted
by those who posses a proclivity towards optimistic thought or
action, as exhibited through the lyrical powers above. And the
aforementioned is but only a taste of what to expect over the course
of the debut album from the Philidelphian trio made up of members
of Xiu Xiu and Prurient. It is a dance record, to be sure, but it remains
unclear what we are dancing for with this one. They sound as if they
rose from a 1980s post-punk, goth-infused graveyard with keyboards
and synths intact, so why is it that their sound is so perfect for right
now, 2009? Perhaps it is because we live in a time when betrayal has
lost the same amount of weight as honesty has in our understanding
of the terms; the close of a decade and a dawning anew, but where
is our hope? It’s almost as is the line in “Heaven Was Full,” “Is this
the pace that you’ve been crawling/ Celebrated without care,” is a
question not of personal nature but rather one of social critique, full
of anger and embarrassment over our own inability to recognize the
direction we are all going as Americans. Cold Cave speak in simple
terms, addressing big issues and this, above all else, is why they
succeed so thoroughly on this record—they don’t bite off more than
they can chew. Cold Cave has an impressive debut with Love Comes
Along, which could be the downtrodden and desperate soundtrack
to a winter impending and a decade all but over, or it might just be
your favorite gothic dance record of the year; the fact is, it could be
either. —Dan Mitchell
or Gorgoroth, Quanto is a return
to a somewhat vintage lineup and
black metal traditionalism. In recent
years, the band has been dominated
by vocalist Ghaal and bassist King
Ov Hell, but after a dispute over the
band’s name, founder Infernus, who had been sidelined by a prison
sentence, took back the group and reinstated former vocalist Pest,
along with members of Dissection and Obituary. Despite the influx
of new blood, Gorgoroth is one of only a handful of Norweigian
black metal bands that have maintained a distinctly nihilist approach
to music. Gorgoroth was always more muscular than many of their
peers, preferring the kind of ghoulish grind of songs like “Rebirth,”
where the surprisingly thick churn of guitar and bass pounds more
than shreds. When “singer” Pest croaks, “The rebirth of Gor..gor..
oth!” like he’s regurgitating maggots, old school fans should be
pleased in their dark hearts. Quantos is a desperately gloomy record
at times—even when the band sounds triumphant, as they do on
“Building a Man,” the atmosphere is thick thanks to the excellent
production, which keeps the bass and guitar clear while letting the
vocals echo over the drum shots. The great shocker of the record is
“New Breed.” Perhaps a nod to cohort Darkthrone’s newer work,
the song is pure anthem, dropping the blackened trappings of genre
for straight-ahead, fist-pumping heavy metal. It’s the most enjoyable
Gorgoroth has sounded—not watered down but full of undead life.
Truly, that’s the story of Quantos. It’s not interested in expanding the
scope of black metal by adding orchestras or friendlier riffs, it only
serves as a honing of the band’s sound into powerful, traditional
Norweigian metal. —Mike Rodgers
he Strokes epitomized New York
City “cool” at the beginning of this
decade. They were leading the charge
for garage bands everywhere, reviving
the popularity of two-minute songs,
simplistic chord progressions and
unabashed drunkenness. Their first
two albums were total scorchers. The third, First Impressions of Earth,
played with the formula a bit and garnered a lukewarm reception.
The band then made the decision to take a break. Unfortunately
for fans, that break has now lasted three years. In their time apart,
however, members have gone on to produce many side projects
in music, photography and film. The latest of which is lead singer
Julian Casablancas’ solo debut, Phrazes for the Young. Despite being
only eight songs-long, Phrazes possesses amazing range and a perfect
progression. Its content is more mature and realized than any of The
Strokes’ previous work. “River of Brakelights” is the continuation
of the exploratory tinkering that we saw on First Impressions. “4
Chords of the Apocalypse” is an organ-driven soul song in the vein
of Dr. Dog. “Left & Right In The Dark” could’ve fit seamlessly
onto Phoenix’s latest acclaimed release. “Tourist” lays a bluesy
guitar (courtesy of Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis) over a synthesizer to
excellent effect. Casablancas’ vocals are clearer, louder and more
invested than I’ve ever heard them. Nearly a decade later, the young
men that were The Strokes have grown into husbands and fathers.
But they’ve managed to maintain all their allure and rock ’n’ roll
cred. The cockiness of youth has been replaced with hard earned
confidence. The jangly, lyrically masterful opener “Out of the Blue”
solidifies the notion that Julian hasn’t lost his swagger, employing
lines like “Yes, I know I’m going to hell in a leather jacket / at
least I’ll be in another world while you’re pissin’ on my casket.”
This album is like an instruction manual on how to grow musically
without losing the spark that made you so unforgettable in the first
place. Many bands would do well to take notes. —Erin Hall
stand before you absolutely smitten.
Not only has Profound Lore
decided, as of September, to release
Krallice’s self-titled debut on vinyl,
the real way it is meant to be heard
but, almost out of thin air, Krallice
returns two months later with their second full-length offering in
as many years, Dimensional Bleedthrough. Krallice is the brainchild
of two super-human guitar virtuoso freaks named Colin Marston
and Mick Barr. Apart, Marston, most popularly known for his
techniques in Dysrhythmia and Behold… the Arctopus, and Barr,
the genius behind Ocrilim, Octis and Orthrelm, among others, have
made names for themselves for their unfathomable skill and godlike mastery over their respective fretboards. It is almost not fair
that these two were allowed to join forces in one group. Alas, they
did, and with the help of a rhythm section rounded out by drummer
Lev Weinstein and bassist Nick McMaster, Krallice has risen to the
forefront of extreme American black metal. Their self-titled debut
presented the listener with a gift in that these two guitarists could be
heard on the same record, playing off one another; it is undeniable
their chemistry and fluidity. No one thought this partnership would
amount to anything after the release of Krallice, and according to
their own thoughts in interviews, neither did they. It was a release
revered in certain circles but lost on the masses but, in my opinion,
was the best metal release of any kind of the year 2008. It appealed
to those into scorched earth brutality while leaving the door open
to anyone else that appreciated avant-garde experimentalism. And
here we stand, only a year later, with their opus, clocking in at just
under eighty minutes. This is the type of album that is hard to put
into words in that it is so mammoth and unrelenting; it almost rips
your skull apart. I am almost entirely convinced that if Slayer never
put out an album entitled Show No Mercy, Krallice would have used
that title for this one—it deserves it. Krallice has no peers and is
the recorded realization of absolute extreme metal-fucking genius.
If you are a fan of all things immoderate and tremendous, Krallice
is the band for you, but head this warning—you may never be the
same after truly experiencing that with which is the Dimensional
Bleedthrough. —Dan Mitchell
e’re far removed from the
early 2000s, when even
mainstream rags like Spin and Rolling
Stone tried to maintain their indie
cred by namechecking “Noise” this
and “Noise” that. Everything from
Merzbow’s assaultive computer bank
wave to The Locusts’ speed punk, jazz-timed tornado got lumped
under that banner, and now that the hype has died those bands
can get back to just making good records. Case in point, Earthly
Delights. Probably the most palatable and arguably the most fun of
the noise punk bands, Lightning Bolt use their two-man set up to
expel immediately catchy, supercharged riffs. Their music is simple,
really—vocalist Brian Chippendale snaps out quick rolls and fills
while his vocals reverb in an echoing mess and Brian Gibson plays
metal-punk riffs through a bass so distorted it sounds like a chainsaw
with a truck engine, but within that simplicity lays a surprisingly
wide sound. Earthly Delights is at times their most subdued record,
possibly due to its lean towards the metal side of the equation—
tracks thrive on the kind of meaty riffs headbangers rejoice in, like
“Sound Guardians,” or they gurgle in a low end, mid-tempo funk,
like “Colossus.” Don’t expect a Shadows Fall album or anything;
while much of Earthly Delights is slightly skewed away from spastic
hardcore, the rest is pure batshit. Giggling acid nightmares (“Flooded
Chamber”), skittering bluegrass breakdowns (“Funny Farm”), and
elegiac, freak folk experiments (“Rain On Lake I’m Swimming In”),
fill up the middle of the record. The album also highlights the other
defining trait of Lightning Bolt, namely that they can write good
songs. Far from the abrasive, give-a-fuck attitude of some, Earthly
Delights can be damn catchy, burying hooks and anthemic chords
within its mountain of feedback. Don’t let the insanity stop you,
brave Lightning Bolt’s ADD metalcore or damaged experiments
and Earthly Delights reveals a winning smile. —Mike Rodgers
from those three discs. The strongest bits tread familiar Morrissey
territory: biting political commentary, wallowing in the loneliness
of it all and telling society they’re full of shit. If it ain’t broke, don’t
fix it, right? On “If You Don’t Like Me, Don’t Look at Me,” tender,
injured Morrissey takes center stage. He’s half a century old and he
can still perfectly encapsulate a teenage sting of rejection as he sings
“if you don’t want me / then you don’t have to have me / I just
thought you might feel the same / that’s all.” A more wistful angle
on love and loss, “The Never-Played Symphonies” is a swelling opus
full of lovely wordplay about “the one that got away.” And how, at
the end of a life, that lost love still looms brightest. On “Shame is
the Name,” Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders lends backup vocals
to this indubitably catchy ditty that takes to task the “dim-ass teen
on the spree” as well as jaded politicians. It fades to black with a
chorus of “shame makes the world go round.” The collection is, on
the whole, quite strong even if a few of the songs feel disconnected
and scattered (“Sweetie-Pie” and “Christian Dior” come to mind).
With so many compositions under his belt, Morrissey could quit
tomorrow and leave us with a lifetime of material to sort through,
to dissect and to attempt to process. But if he keeps working at this
level, there’s hope he could add a few more classics to the pile. —
Erin Hall
nce, I was driving between
Paris and Manhattan and had
just dropped two tabs of acid. While
dialing between my favorite ’80s
station and Hot 97 I found a new
signal—it called itself Neon Indian.
“Local Joke” came blaring over my
speakers, its delirious synth-guitar melody cruising atop a strutting
drum machine. “Laughing Gas” followed suit, threading a dusty
House thump through a scratchy Nintendo cartridge while children
giggled like ghosts in the breaks. Here, I thought, is the new
sound; the Reagan-era lovechild of Texas musician Alan Palomo
(Ghosthustler, VEGA), a dusted juxtaposition of electro’s synthetic
rhythms, hip-hop’s bass beats and classic pop. The title track rides
a Jackson-esque locomotive analog bass pluck while 8-bit guitars
sting and computer bank strings swell and ebb. The music on Psychic
Chasms is almost supernaturally joyful, with enough madness lurking
just inside the playful keyboards and samples to keep from becoming
saccharine, and a varied song scheme that still retains a unifying
sound. “Should Have Taken Acid with You” marches like glittering
post-punk, but is followed by “Mind, Drips” a 1970s, super-sciencesoul Daft Punk-like track. By the time album closer “7000 (Reprise)”
began bombarding me with its big-beat stomp and disturbed, retro
sc-fi funk, I was overwhelmed and, in my state, rightfully believed
that the cab of my vehicle, by way of Neon Indian’s experimental
videogame disco-pop, had been mutated into a supernatural dance
floor. —Mike Rodgers
hat can be said about Morrissey
that hasn’t already been said a
thousand times before? A controversial
and legendary fixture of the British
pop scene, he is still making waves in
his 50s. His post-Smiths solo career
has been consistently solid and worthy
of recognition, but he experienced a recent creative renaissance of
sorts starting with 2004’s You Are the Quarry, followed by Ringleader
of the Tormentors in 2006 and, most recently, Years of Refusal in
March 2009. Swords is a compilation of three dozen B-sides culled
ho is this Nirvana? Like some
kind of wondrous spawn of
sludge metal and pop music, they
have here one hell of a debut album!
All kidding aside, it’s good to listen
to this record again because Bleach, while not perfect, is still pretty
great. The first half of the album is almost untouchable (a fact I first
noticed on my worn out cassette in 1993), from opener “Blew,”
22_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
which splits the difference between their early, murky sound and
the polished rock of their future, through the jangly pop of “About
a Girl,” to the chugging stoner metal of “Floyd the Barber.” Once
“Negative Creep” shreds your speakers with its back alley, dirt rock
you know you’ve been through something. The second half, more
than anything, shows how unlikely a candidate for Biggest Band
in the World Nirvana really was. “Mr. Moustache” is a whirlwind
new wave track dunked in feedback, and when Kurt Cobain screams
“Don’t have nothing for you,” in his blood-flecked screech over the
droning grind of “Sifting,” the venom is tactile. Tacked onto the
record is a live performance from 1990, and in a sort of backhanded
compliment, the live cuts don’t sound much different than the
album. There’s a layer of grime that can never be scraped off of
Bleach, but it’s a record that requires that filthy hiss, befitting the tag
“grunge” better than almost anything else. Live versions of Bleach
songs are looser by a small bit, like the bass on “School” plopping
widely while Kurt’s voice growls along, but the real gems are the
newer songs. “Sappy” (later “Verse-Chorus-Verse”), is almost the
perfect template for Nirvana’s worldwide success: simple melody,
hooky verses and a screaming chorus. It’s almost a wonder, then,
that only two years later this scum rock band from Seattle had
ascended to the rock n’ roll throne, and Live at Reading shows them
at their peak, demonstrating the kind of no-nonsense punk metal
that forced a change on the pop music landscape. Cobain makes his
entrance in a wheelchair draped in a wig and smock, belts out a few
bars of Bette Midler then feints collapse; it’s a rare bit of audience
interaction by the elusive frontman, as bassist Krist Novoselic
handles most of the between-song banter. The setlist of Reading is
the like a greatest hits list for Nirvana. The Nevermind tracks, like
“Drain You” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” retain their worldbeating hooks but ditch the notorious sheen that the band disliked
on the album proper. Older songs benefit from a tighter, stronger
band and much of this is due to Dave Grohl being behind the kit.
He really beats the shit out of the drums and his energetic pounding
on Bleach cuts cements his importance to Nirvana’s success. The
previews of In Utero material are all in top shape as well, especially
the usually eulogistic “All Apologies,” which finds a somber but
alive moment inside the rollicking set. Closing down with a chunk
of covers (including the grim, sneering “The Money Will Roll Right
In”), the concert’s end shows how tired of the spotlight Nirvana
had already become. At the peak of their success they hold back,
playing a concise, razor sharp set of songs they wanted to play. Live
at Reading is an incredible testament to the reason a skuzzy punk
band from Seattle became the icon of a generation and why that
label never quite suited them. —Mike Rodgers
oly crap! This album has been
sitting on the shelf for eight years
and is finally getting a proper release.
Label execs at J Records allegedly
did not see the album fit for release
and so it sat... waiting... to... come...
out until Battery Records thankfully
picked it up. This is an added treat considering The Renaissance was
just released in November of 2008. It seems like we are getting two
amazing albums less than a year apart! Recorded in 2001, Kamaal
The Abstract was not only a departure for the former Tribe Called
Quest member but for hip-hop at large. Consider this style of hiphop to be what jazz fusion was to modal jazz of the ’50s and ’60s.
Years before Andre 3000 dropped The Love Below, a stellar statement
in jazz-funk infused rap, Q-Tip laid the groundwork for that kind of
album to be made. Coincidentally, Andre was featured on a track
slated for the 2001 Kamaal album called “That’s Sexy” (D’Angelo
also was on a track called “I Believe” for those sessions). Don’t ask
us why they are not on this painfully short album, but the point
is that this album was/is great. Being able to hold water in 2009
with nearly decade-old material is a feat in itself. Mixing funk, rock,
jazz, and hip-hop, Kamaal is just Tip as usual. Pushing the envelope,
creating a new genre, and opening our ears to “some other shit,” as
he calls it. Tip even plays his fair share of instruments on the album,
making this one of his most diverse and intricate albums to date.
—Emily Elhaj
t’s easy to dismiss Rammstein: they
peaked during the nu-metal drought
and play overly grandiose industrial
metal. So, why are they a guilty
pleasure? Even at their best they’ve
never been the heaviest, most talented
or creative metal band, but their
saving grace (and the reason I still have a soft spot for them) is their
unremitting sense of black humor. Often the subject of confusion or
ire, their music explores sadism, sexuality, fascism, etc., all while
keeping tongue firmly implanted in cheek. The music of Liebe Ist
fur Alle Da, which intently ironically means “Love is There for
Everyone,” is the band’s usual M.O., though honed to a pleasurable
edge. Clocking in somewhere between the hooks of Sehnsuct and
the thick production of later records, the melodies and choruses
are generally interesting. “Waidmanns Heil” intros with a chorus
of hunting horns and dots its German industrial-grind with wailing
keyboards, while “Haifisch” plods along in Rammstein’s teutonic
way, built upon a wide open chorus and cabaret-style synth chord
progression. The vicious “Weiner Blut” gives way to a fierce midtempo snarl between laughing children and muted squeals. Even the
trite “Pussy” is more fun than it has any right to be, with its housecum-metal structure. Once again it’s Rammstein’s mixture of bleak
social critique and artistic confrontation with over the top imagery
and cruel humor that keeps them relevant. I suppose Rammstein
will remain a guilty pleasure but, with Liebe Ist fur Alle Da, maybe not
so guilty. —Mike Rodgers
mongst the unholy trinity of
speed metal, Slayer always
reigned as the heaviest. I mean, did
Metallica or Megadeth ever have a fan
carving either of their names into his
arm on publicity material? Blistering,
ferocious, lean and never soft, Slayer
sharpened thrash into a satanic Nazi trench knife. Unlike their
peers, the band never really fell as far—Diabolus in Musica and God
Hates Us All were certainly much lesser entries into the Slayer canon,
but hardly St. Anger-style fuck ups. Now that Dave Lombardo and
Rick Rubin have rejoined the parade, Slayer has been reinvigorated.
Easily besting 2006’s Christ Illusion, World Painted Blood feels more
like classic Slayer than anything since the early ’90s. The record is
pretty varied by Slayer standards: chugging, grand (the interesting
“Playing with Dolls” intro), and at times as breakneck as anything
they’ve recorded. Kicking off with the title track, the band once
again sounds comfortable writing relentless metal, as the songs seem
to flow more evenly than on their last album. Right up front the riffs
are more memorable, with the insane finger shredding of “Snuff”
pressed up against the slow burn creep of “Beauty Through Order”
before its massive and brutal breakdown. “Americon” is as close
to accessible as Slayer gets, and when Tom Araya growls, “It’s all
about the motherfucking oil,” while King and Hanneman unleash a
nasty tremolo wah-wah riff, you just want to pump your fist in the
air. It would be impossible to reclaim the ferocity and utter majesty
of their classic Reign in Blood, and luckily Slayer isn’t really trying.
If this is the first of their final trilogy of records, they’re happy just
playing super-quick, deadly evil metal and reveling in it before they
call it quits. —Mike Rodgers
want to thank Vampire Weekend,
because without their association I
might never have paid The Very Best
any heed, which would have been a
shame because Warm Heart of Africa
is a splendid record. Essentially a
collaboration between Malawi artist
Esau Mwamwaya and British duo Radioclit, The Very Best is
a mash up of afrobeat and electro-pop. Forget tired memories of
The Lion King soundtrack, the music on Warm Heart of Africa is cool
and inviting, a joyful combination of the danceable grandeur of the
traditional African folk music it draws inspiration from and the cutand-paste synthesizer style it’s filtered through. Esau’s voice is bright
and soulful and even though I can’t speak Chichewa the—ahem—
warm heart of songs like the simple “Mwazi” or staccato retro
keys of “Chalo” shine through. The production is a fun splice job,
taking the rhythms and instruments of Malawi afro and applying an
English indie-dance sheen to them. The rollicking “Rain Dance,”
which pairs the trio with M.I.A., bubbles and broils on tribal drums
stacked and splintered across the melody. The shiny “Mfumu” skirts
along on a new wave keyboard melody, and Ezra Koenig’s duet on
the title track is a stutter-step island jam. The undeniable centerpiece
of the record is “Julia.” The sheer pleasure center overload of the Pfunk whistle, hand claps and laid back beat swallowed in a glittering
cloud of analog squleches coupled with Esau’s powerful delivery
gives me chills each time I listen to it, shattering any misconceptions
about boring Putamayo world music. Warm Heart of Africa is a
complete success as a charm filled collision of styles and cultures.
—Mike Rodgers
Within the first minute of Wale’s
major label debut album, Attention
Deficit, he speaks of how he reached
out to Kanye West for production
input on his album, only to realize
that West had more “important”
things on his agenda. Wale, from day
one, with his Mixtape About Nothing, has been making a name for
himself without the help of rap’s top dogs and has done so by being
more interesting than almost any of his peers (a mixtape based off
Seinfeld skits?) and smarter, never once contradicting himself within
his raps. He is learned, passionate and witty, and he comes from a
city, Washington, D.C., that does not have a strong or historic past
within the genre. In short, Wale, through his talent and knife-edged
lyricisms, has positioned himself to break with very little promotional
bullshit. Sure, he has big names like Bun B, Gucci Mane, Lady
Gaga and Pharrell on this official debut, but it almost sounds like
he is doing them all a favor with their inclusion on the tracks as
opposed to the other way around. This album has production you
might liken to Lupe Fiasco, vibrant and engaging, but the aspect that
sticks out above all else is that Wale sounds like he is having fun—a
kid in a candy shop, if you will. With tracks like “Mama Told Me,”
where he reflects upon his success humbly, for a change, “Chillin,”
which finds guest Lady Gaga doing her best to channel M.I.A.,
and “Beautiful Bliss,” in which he says that he feels “fly as a bitch”
like Shawn Carter, it is hard to argue that he is not on Cloud 9.
While many of the tracks play on the surface like pre-packaged club
bumpers, Attention Deficit is smarter than most major releases and is
not without its more serious moments, such as “TV in the Radio,” a
not so shrouded nod to the band TV on the Radio—just listen to the
beat—and “Prescription,” the last track, in which he relates to all of
those people out there who feel pain and rely on prescriptions to get
by, only to come to the conclusion that the pursuit of “truth” in the
face of ignorance is the real cure. Attention Deficit, the title no doubt
referring to his unquenchable thirst for knowledge, will reach many
more thousands than his previous mixtapes have, and this is a good
thing for rap. While there is no doubt that there is talent out there
and lyricists ready to bring it, few have proven to be as on point as
this young man, who goes by the name of Wale. —Dan Mitchell
eezer’s seventh album, Raditude
is, to put it simply, stupid. From
its stupid name, to its piss-poor album
cover (a goddamned Photoshopped
dog flying through a living room!) to
its half-wit lyrics and pre-adolescent
songwriting, Raditude is stupid. Rivers
Cuomo just seems to revert more each year—once upon a time, on
their debut album, Weezer stood out, thanks to their crunchy pop
riffs and naïve charm in a time of somber alt-rock. The songs on
Raditude try too hard by a mile to reclaim that kind of pubescent
charm, resulting in goofy pop songs dominated by lyrics ripped
straight from a dimwitted thirteen-year-old’s notebook. The intensely
shitty “In The Mall” thinks going from the elevator to the escalator is
deep enough for its mallrat audience, and the childish fantasy “The
Girl Got Hot” is a Gary Glitter arena stomp about a late bloomer,
but Cuomo’s references to mosh pits and his grade school advances
are dishonest at best, and the confessions of a stunted man-child
at worst. Raditude seems directly aimed at high-schoolers that think
Green Day is a little too political, with the lethargic turd “Get Me
Some” encompassing the thematic laziness and retarded lyricism
the album embodies, “Right now everything sucks, I can’t express
the things I want.” What is that? The crown jewel of the record is
the emo-rap crapfest of “Can’t Stop Partying,” which manages to
combine Weezer’s repertoire of “whoa-oh’s” with the worst aspects
of Timbaland beats all wrapped up in a Miley Cyrus sheen of
Disneyfied production gloss. The only thing that beats out Cuomo’s
laugh-inducing shout outs to Patron, posses and V.I.P. status on
the vomit scale is the fact that Lil’ Wayne guest spots on the track,
dropping a low energy flow that seems ridiculously out of place on a
Weezer album. It’s been a few years since Weezer’s comeback, and
Raditude has finally erased all the credit they had left. Now it’s time
to relegate Cuomo and co. to commercials with Taylor Swift and
tween pop compilations. —Mike Rodgers
MONDAY 11/30
45 Tchoup, 4529 Tchoupitoulas (504) 891-9066
MVC, 9800 Westbank Expressway, (504) 2342331,
Alexis Marceaus, Circle Bar
Neutral Ground Coffee House, 5110 Danneel St.,
(504) 891-3381,
The Big Top, 1638 Clio St., (504) 569-2700,
Nowe Miasto, 223 Jane Pl., (504) 821-6721
The Blue Nile, 534 Frenchmen St., (504) 948-2583
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., (504) 5698361,
Andrew McGowan, Dragon’s Den
Georg Graewe, Brian Prunka, Blue Nile
HIV Awareness Music Project Presents:
Trombone Shorty, Kermit Ruffins,
Rebirth Brass Band, 5th Ward Weebie,
Dee-1, Howlin’ Wolf
The Jackals, Circle Bar
Kristina Y La Banda, Dragon’s Den
Banks St. Bar And Grill, 4401 Banks St., (504)
Barrister’s Art Gallery, 2331 St. Claude Ave.
Broadmoor House, 4127 Walmsley, (504) 8212434
Ogden Museum, 925 Camp St., (504) 539-9600
Carrollton Station, 8140 Willow St., (504) 8659190,
Outer Banks, 2401 Palmyra (at S. Tonti),
(504) 628-5976,
Checkpoint Charlie’s, 501 Esplanade Ave.,
(504) 947-0979
Republic, 828 S. Peters St., (504) 528-8282,
Chickie Wah Wah, 2828 Canal Street (504)
Rusty Nail, 1100 Constance Street (504) 5255515,
Circle Bar, 1032 St. Charles Ave., (504) 5882616,
The Saturn Bar, 3067 St. Claude Ave., www.
Club 300, 300 Decatur Street, www.
Side Arm Gallery, 1122 St. Roch Ave., (504)
Coach’s Haus, 616 N. Solomon
Southport Hall, 200 Monticello Ave., (504) 8352903,
Cold, Papercut Massacre, Wake the
Light, For the Wait, The Hangar, 8pm
Cursive, Capgun Coup, Caddywhumpus,
One Eyed Jacks
James Singleton Project w/ Georg
Graewe, Tim Green, Rick Trolsen, Blue
Nile, 8pm
Juvenile Album Release Party, House Of
Blues, 9pm
Thomas Johnson, Evan Barber, Circle Bar
The Country Club, 634 Louisa St., (504) 9450742,
d.b.a., 618 Frenchmen St., (504) 942-373, www.
Der Rathskeller (Tulane’s Campus), McAlister
The Spellcaster Lodge, 3052 St. Claude
St. Roch Taverne, 1200 St. Roch Ave., (504)
Dragon’s Den, 435 Esplanade Ave., http://
Tipitina’s, (Uptown) 501 Napoleon Ave., (504)
895-8477 (Downtown) 233 N. Peters, www.
Eldon’s House, 3055 Royal Street,
[email protected]
The Zeitgeist, 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.,
(504) 827-5858,
Ernie K-Doe’s Mother-in-Law Lounge, 1500
N. Claiborne Ave.
Vintage Uptown, 4523 Magazine St.,
[email protected]
Fair Grinds Coffee House, 3133 Ponce de
Leon, (504) 913-9072,
Fuel Coffee House, 4807 Magazine St. (504)
Goldmine Saloon, 701 Dauphine St., (504) 5860745,
The Green Space, 2831 Marais Street (504) 9450240,
Handsome Willy’s, 218 S. Robertson St., (504)
The Hangar, 1511 S. Rendon. (504) 827-7419
Hi-Ho Lounge, 2239 St. Claude Ave. (504) 9454446,
Hostel, 329 Decatur St. (504-587-0036),
Hot Iron Press Plant, 1420 Kentucky Ave.,
[email protected]
House Of Blues / The Parish, 225 Decatur,
The Howlin’ Wolf, 907 S. Peters, (504) 522WOLF,
Kajun’s Pub, 2256 St. Claude Avenue (504) 9473735,
Kim’s 940, 940 Elysian Fields, (504) 844-4888
Chelsea’s Café, 2857 Perkins Rd., (225) 3873679,
27 Lights, New Grass, Hi-Ho Lounge,
Andrew Duhon, d.b.a., 10pm, $5
For Karma w/ Far Gone, The Green
Mantles, The Bar, 7pm
The Jingle Bell Bash! f/ Collective Soul,
House Of Blues
Kristy Kruger, d.b.a., 7pm
New Orleans Songwriter Festival:
Bluebird Café Open Mic w/ Barbara
Cloyd, Howlin’ Wolf
New Orleans Songwriter Festival f/
Caleb Guillote, Mark Miller, Sam Craft,
Carrollton Station, 10pm
Starkillers w/ Holly Messa, Damion
Yancy, Force Feed Radio, Republic
Tipitina’s Presents The Listening Party
w/ Andrew Duhon, Mia Borders, John
Michael Rouchell, Mark Stephen Jones,
Tipitina’s, 9pm, FREE
The Darkroom, 10450 Florida Blvd., (225) 2741111,
Airline Lion’s Home, 3110 Division St.
Badabing’s, 3515 Hessmer, (504) 454-1120
The Bar, 3224 Edenborn,
Hammerhead’s, 1300 N Causeway Blvd, (504)
The High Ground, 3612 Hessmer
Ave., Metairie, (504) 525-0377, www.
The Caterie, 3617 Perkins Rd.,
Government St., 3864 Government St., www.
North Gate Tavern, 136 W. Chimes St.
The Kingpin, 1307 Lyons St., (504) 891-2373
Red Star Bar, 222 Laurel St., (225) 346-8454,
Le Bon Temps Roule, 4801 Magazine St., (504)
Rotolos, 1125 Bob Pettit Blvd. (225) 761-1999,
Le Chat Noir, 715 St. Charles Ave., (504) 5815812,
The Spanish Moon, 1109 Highland Rd., (225)
Lyceum Central, 618 City Park Ave., (410) 5234182,
The Varsity, 3353 Highland Rd., (225)383-7018,
Lyon’s Club, 2920 Arlington St.
Mama’s Blues, 616 N. Rampart St., (504) 453-9290
Maple Leaf, 8316 Oak St., (504) 866-9359
Marlene’s Place, 3715 Tchoupitoulas, (504)
McKeown’s Books, 4737 Tchoupitoulas, (504)
Melvin’s, 2112 St. Claude Ave.
24_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
Mountain of Wizard, Sisera, Hi-Ho
Lounge, 10pm
311 Afterparty f/ The Groovocrats,
Syllable 7, First Time, The Bar, 7pm
ActionActionReaction Indie Dance
Party, Circle Bar
The Buttons, Republic
E.O.E. Underground, Dragon’s Den
The Faceless, Dying Fetus, Beneath the
Massacre, Annotations of an Autopsy,
Enfold Darkness, High Ground, 7pm, $15
Groovesect f/ Billion Dollar Baby Dolls,
Easy Company, Tipitina’s, 10pm, $8
Hot Club of New Orleans, d.b.a., 6pm
New Orleans Songwriters Festival: Urban
Artist & Songwriter Panel; Baby Boy Da
Prince, N.O. Capo, Asia Bryant, Howlin’
Wolf (Call club for times)
Pine Leaf Boys, d.b.a., 10pm, $5
Susan Cowsill Band, Carrollton Station,
Vince’s BDay Bash w/ The Great Void,
The 2nd Annual N.O. Songwriters
Festival f/ Allen Toussaint, Don Schlitz,
others, House Of Blues, 8pm
Antenna Inn, One Eyed Jacks
A Benefit for The Bridge House
Wednesday Clinic w/ Bicipital Groove,
Moderator Band, Saturday Night Palsy,
Howlin’ Wolf
The Britton Ashford Project, Dragon’s Den
The Heiz, Golden Boys, King Louie’s
Missing Monuments, Makeshift Lover,
Saturn Bar, 10pm, $7
Holiday Showcase f/ Bill Summers,
Jazsalsa w/ Jesse McBride and Various
Artists, Tipitina’s, 10pm, $12
In Tomorrow’s Shadow, This is the
Enemy, Further Reasoning, The Bar, 5pm
Kings of Happy Hour, Circle Bar
Little Freddie King, d.b.a., 11pm, $5
The Pallbearers’ Album Release Party
w/ Face First, Blast Rag, Hi-Ho Lounge,
10pm, $7
Spider in the Shed Premiere w/
My Graveyard Jaw, Caesar Fadari,
Toastbeards, Greatest Hits Collection,
Lower 9th Ward Village (1001 Carbonnet St.)
The Tanglers Bluegrass Band, Carrollton
Station, 10pm
Truth Universal Presents Grass Rootz,
Dragon’s Den (Downstairs)
Will Bernard, Blue Nile, 10:30pm
Christmas w/ Aaron Neville and his
Quintet f/ Charles Neville, House Of Blues,
Fleur de Tease, One Eyed Jacks
Mas Mamones, d.b.a., 10pm
Shevan Winoz, Dragon’s Den (Upstairs),
B.O.L.O. Tour f/ Flaw, Saturate, For the
Wait, The Bar, 6pm
Hannah Krieger-Benson, Peter Squires,
Dragon’s Den (Upstairs)
Impending Doom, Oh Sleeper, The
Showdown, A Plea for Purging, The Great
Commission, High Ground, 7pm, $12
Jay Reatard, One Eyed Jacks
The Jackals, Circle Bar
Jesse Brooks, The Andrews, Alexis
Marceaux, Dragon’s Den (Downstairs)
The Slackers, Maddie Ruthless, One Eyed
Third Sequence, Amish Electric, Dragon’s
Den (Upstairs)
Baroness, Iron Age, Unpersons, One Eyed
Laura Izibor, Dan Dyer, House Of Blues,
WEDNESDAY 12/9 (Cont.)
Sacred, The Bar, 7pm
Lovehog, Circle Bar
SUNDAY 12/13
Chris Chew, d.b.a., 10pm, $8
Will Thompson’s “Baghdad Music
Journal,” James Singleton, Layne
Garrett, Hi-Ho Lounge, 10pm
61 South, Carrollton Station, 9pm
The City Champs w/ Robert Mercurio,
d.b.a., 10pm, $5
Hip-Hop Homegrown Night w/
Q.P., Lyric, Tygah Woods, Mic Da
@[email protected], Tipitina’s, 8:30pm, FREE
An Idea Like No Other Presents:
Caulfield, Small Bones, Thou, The Big Top
Less Than Jake, Cage, The Swellers,
House Of Blues, 5:30pm
New Orleans Photo Alliance Gala w/
Panorama Jazz Band, Fleur de Tease,
New Orleans Museum of Art, 7pm-10pm, $20
Olga, d.b.a., 7pm
One Man Machine, Circle Bar
Push Play, The Parish @ House Of Blues,
MONDAY 12/14
Aquarium Drunkard Presents: The
Dutchess and The Duke, One Eyed Jacks
Dead Icons, Dragon’s Den (Downstairs)
Wativ, Dragon’s Den (Upstairs)
B-97 Presents: The Night the B Stole
Christmas f/ Cobra Starship, Iyaz and
others, House Of Blues
Canadian Rifle, Pumpkin, The Rooks,
Dragon’s Den (Downstairs)
Kirk Nasty, Dragon’s Den (Upstairs)
FRIDAY 12/11
Conjure Woman, Gris Gris Lab (2245
Brainard St.), 9pm, $10
Dragon’s Den Multimedia Art Expo &
Gala f/ Ray Bong, Dominic, DJ Proppa
Bear, Johnny Woodstock, Chadmo &
others, Dragon’s Den
Gamma Ringo, Republic
Grayson Capps w/ Sarah Lee Guthrie,
d.b.a., 10pm, $10
Ingrid Lucia, d.b.a., 6pm
John Prine, Iris DeMent, House Of Blues,
Motograter, Falls From Grace, The Bar, 7pm
Nitzer Ebb, Torrent Vaccine Vs.
Synnack, DJ Sneauxball, DJ Saturnine,
The Hangar, 9pm
The Public, Vox and the Hound, Howlin’
R Skully’s Rough 7, Magnolia Beacon,
Hi-Ho Lounge, 10pm
The Safes, The Unnaturals, Circle Bar
Soul Glo Christmas Jam w/ Soul Rebels,
DJ Soul Sister, Tipitina’s, 10pm, $10
ZamaPara, Carrollton Station, 10pm
Bobby Long, One Eyed Jacks
Carrollton Station Christmas Party f/
The Missing Links, Carrollton Station, 7pm
Dave Matthews Tribute Band, The Greg
Talmage Band, Howlin’ Wolf
Dubla Music Presents: 2nd Annual
Holladay Hop, The Big Top
Good Day for an Air Strike, A Living
Soundtrack, Dragon’s Den (Upstairs)
Haarp, Great Void, A Hanging,
Demilitia, Hi-Ho Lounge, 10pm
John Prine, Iris DeMent, House Of Blues,
[email protected] People’s Collective, Jermaine Quiz,
Illegal Alias, Dragon’s Den (Downstairs)
Otra, d.b.a., 11pm, $5
The Society for Decoration and Sacrifice
Presents the Opening Reception for
Zradab: A “Legend” Unearthed,
Barrister’s Gallery (2331 St. Claude), 6pm9pm
Truth in Flames, Blowermotor, Nothing
26_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
Felix, Circle Bar
LMFAO’s Party Rock Tour w/
Schwayze and Far East Movement,
Paradiso Girls and Space Cowboy, House
Of Blues
M. Harris, Spy-anage, Young Nut,
PHAT Word, Cezo, Howlin’ Wolf
Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad, One Eyed
Alex McMurray, d.b.a., 10pm, $5
Comedy Night w/ The Henehan Twins
and Scotland Green, Hi-Ho Lounge, 10pm
Coot, Carrollton Station, 9pm
Evan Christopher, d.b.a., 7pm
Luke Starkiller, Pandemic, Howlin’ Wolf
New Orleans Craft Mafia’s Last Stop
Shop, The Big Top, 6pm
Primer 55, United Frieks of America, The
Bar, 6pm
Rooney, Tally Hall, Crash Kings,
Tipitina’s, 10pm, $15
Underoath, August Burns Red, Emery,
House Of Blues
WATIV, Circle Bar
FRIDAY 12/18
Anders Osborne, d.b.a., 10pm, $10
Bustout Burlesque f/ Michelle L’amour,
House Of Blues, 7:30pm, 10pm
DJ Soul Sister, Dragon’s Den
Flow Tribe’s Christmas Crunktacular w/
The Revivalists, Tipitina’s, 10pm, $8
Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue,
Circle Bar
Honey Island Swamp Band, Strawberry,
Hi-Ho Lounge, 9pm
Hot Club of New Orleans, d.b.a., 6pm
Jenn Howard, Crazy McGee Album
Release, Carrollton Station, 10pm
Outlaw Order, Flesh Parade, The Bar,
Rotary Downs, Republic
Simple Play w/ Winter Circle Present:
EOTO, Gravity A, One Eyed Jacks
ANTIGRAVITY Presents The Crescent
City Comics Infinite Holiday Bash,
Crescent City Comics (4916 Freret St.), 6pm11pm, FREE
Benjy Davis Project, Meriwether, Howlin’
Earphunk, Gravy, Tipitina’s, 10pm, $8
Glorybee, Circle Bar
Good Enough for Good Times, d.b.a.,
11pm, $5
Kermit Ruffins Annual Birthday Bash
f/ Kermit Ruffins and The Barbeque
Swingers, House Of Blues, 10:30pm
New Orleans New Music Ensemble
Presents a Kids Concert, The Big Top
Poltern Kinder, The Bar, 7pm
ReFried Confuzion, Carrollton Station,
Reverend Spooky LaStrange and Her
Billion-Dollar Baby Dolls Church of
Burlesque w/ Andre Williams, Hi-Ho
Lounge, 10pm
Slangston Hughes Presents Uniquity,
Dragon’s Den (Downstairs)
Soul Rebels, Dragon’s Den (Upstairs)
Suplecs, One Eyed Jacks
Further Reasoning, High Ground, 7pm
Skate Night!, Circle Bar
Birdfinger, Howlin’ Wolf
Home for the Holidays Patron Party,
Nova Nola f/ Sasha Masakowski, John
Boutte Band, Theresa Andersson, House
Of Blues, 6pm, $125
Home for the Holidays f/ Rebirth Brass
Band, Kermit Ruffins and The Barbeque
Swingers, Amanda Shaw, Shamarr Allen
and others, House Of Blues, 7:30pm, $30
Jay the Savage w/ Black Santa, d.b.a.,
FRIDAY 12/25
Rebirth Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins,
Howlin’ Wolf
Cajun/Zydeco Dance Fest w/ Various
Artists, Tipitina’s, 1pm, $10
Bert Cotten Trio w/ Matt Perrine, Simon Dash Rip Rock, Carrollton Station, 10pm
Lott, d.b.a., 10pm
Dr. John and The Lower 911, House Of
Sunday Service w/ Sissy Nobby, Dragon’s Blues, 9pm
Den (Downstairs)
George Porter Jr. and His Runnin’
Pardners, Howlin’ Wolf
Joe Krown, Walter Wolfman
Washington, Russell Batiste Trio, d.b.a.,
10pm, $5
A Very Merry New Years, Dragon’s Den
SUNDAY 12/20
SUNDAY 12/27
Cajun/Zydeco Dance Fest w/ Various
Artists, Tipitina’s, 1pm, $10
Dr. John and The Lower 911, House Of
Blues, 8pm
Panorama Jazz Band, d.b.a., 10pm
MONDAY 12/28
Megafauna, High in One Eye, Dragon’s
Den (Upstairs)
Corey Smith, American Aquarium, House
Of Blues, 8pm
Local Skank, Dragon’s Den (Downstairs)
Simple Play Presents: Mumbles, Dragon’s
Den (Upstairs)
Anxious Sound’s 3rd Annual Holiday Ho
Down, Hi-Ho Lounge, 9pm
Better Than Ezra, House Of Blues, 8pm
Bride of the Atom, Checkpoint Charlie’s,
11pm, FREE
Better Than Ezra, House Of Blues, 10pm
Colin Lake, d.b.a., 7pm
Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Papa
Grows Funk, Howlin’ Wolf
New Year’s Eve w/ Eric Lindell, d.b.a.,
11pm, $25
New Year’s Eve w/ Galactic, Tipitina’s
R Skully’s Rough 7, Ratty Scurvic’s Big
Band, DeBauch, Hi-Ho Lounge, 10pm
A Very Dragon’s Den New Year,
Dragon’s Den
Blue Grass Pickin’ Party, Hi-Ho Lounge,
Glen David Andrews, d.b.a., 9pm
Jak Locke, The Box Office, 8pm
Mad Mike, Checkpoint Charlie’s, 8pm
Missy Meatlocker, Circle Bar, 5pm
Noxious Noize’s Punk and Metal Night,
Dragon’s Den (Downstairs)
Phunk Mondays w/ Earphunk, Easy
Company, Banks Street Bar & Grill, 10pm
Trivia Night, Circle Bar, 8pm
The Abney Effect, Hostel
Acoustic Open Mic, Carrollton Station, 9pm
Acoustic Open Mic w/ Jim Smith,
Checkpoint Charlie’s, 10pm
Cottenmouth Kings of New Orleans,
d.b.a., 9pm
Open Mic w/ Whiskey T., Rusty Nail, 8pm
Reggae Nite w/ Big, Fat & Delicious,
The Rhythm Cruisers, Banks Street Bar &
The Tom Paines, Circle Bar, 6pm
28_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
Dan Wallace Quartet, The Box Office, 7pm
DJ Lefty Parker, R Bar
DJ T-Roy Presents: Dancehall Classics,
Dragon’s Den, 10pm, $5
Gravity A, Banks St. Bar and Grill, 10pm
Jim O. and The No Shows, Circle Bar,
Kenny Holiday and the Rolling
Blackouts, Checkpoint Charlie’s, 9pm
Marygoround & The Tiptoe Stampede,
All-Ways Lounge
Mojotoro Tango Trio, Yuki (525
Frenchmen St.), 8pm
Musician Appreciation Night, The Bar,
Standup Comedy Open Mic, Carrollton
Station, 9pm
Tin Men, d.b.a., 7pm
Walter Wolfman Washington and The
Roadmasters, d.b.a., 10pm, $5
Billy Iuso, The Box Office, 7pm
Come Drink with Matt Vaughn, R Bar
DJ Frenzi, DJ Daniel Steel, Dragon’s Den
(Downstairs), 10pm
DJ Kemistry, LePhare
DJ Matic, Hostel
DJ Proppa Bear Presents: Bassbin Safari,
Dragon’s Den (Upstairs), 10pm
Fast Times ‘80s Dance Night, One Eyed
The Fens w/ Sneaky Pete, Checkpoint
Charlie’s, 10pm
Hap Pardo Jazz Trio, All-Ways Lounge
Jeremy Davenport, The Davenport Lounge
@ Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
Karaoke Fury, La Nuit Comedy Theater,
Mixture, Republic, 10pm, $7
N’awlins Johnnys, Banks Street Bar &
Grill, 9pm
Ovis, The Box Office, 10pm
Pure Soul, House Of Blues, Midnight
Rabbit Hole, La Nuit Comedy Theater,
Sam and Boone, Circle Bar, 6pm
Soul Rebels, Les Bon Temps Roule, 11pm
Stinging Caterpillar Soundsystem, AllWays Lounge
DJ Bees Knees, R Bar
DJ Kemistry, Metro
God’s Been Drinking, La Nuit Comedy
Theater, 8:30pm, $10
Jeremy Davenport, The Davenport Lounge
@ Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
Jim O. and The Sporadic Fanatics,
Circle, 6pm
Olga, The Box Office, 6pm
Open Mic Stand-Up, La Nuit Comedy
Theater, 10pm, $5
Ratty Scurvics Lounge, All-Ways Lounge
Rites of Swing, The Box Office, 9pm
Throwback, Republic
Tipitina’s Foundation Free Friday!,
Tipitina’s, 10pm
DJ Damion Yancy, Republic, 11pm
DJ Jive, LePhare
DJ Kemistry, Metro
The Drive In w/ DJ Pasta, R Bar
Javier Drada, Hostel
The Jazzholes (1st & 3rd Saturdays),
Circle Bar, 6pm
Jeremy Davenport, The Davenport Lounge
@ Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
John Boutte’, d.b.a., 7pm
Ladies Night, The Hangar
Louisiana Hellbenders, The Box Office,
Morella and The Wheels of If (2nd
Saturdays), Circle Bar, 6pm
Acoustic Open Mic w/ Jim Smith,
Checkpoint Charlie’s, 7pm
Attrition, Dragon’s Den (Upstairs), 10pm
Cajun Fais Do Do f/ Bruce
Danigerpoint, Tipitina’s, 5:30pm, $7
Drink N Draw, Circle Bar, 3pm
Linnzi Zaorski, d.b.a., 6pm
Micah McKee and Friends w/ Food by
Bryan, Circle Bar, 6pm
Mojo Triage Jam, Banks Street Bar &
Grill, After Saints Game
Music Workshop Series, Tipitina’s,
The Palmetto Bug Stompers, d.b.a., 6pm
The Sunday Gospel Brunch, House Of
1. Cajun ham
2. Food for Xerox machines
3. Loves to show off
4. “The British are coming!”
5, Wins against all odds
6. Thumbs down
7. Tiny Tim’s little guitar
9. Influential but not commercially successful New
Orleans metal band
10. Inscrutable moustache
12. Spent
7. Ted Kaczynski’s scary nickname
8. Let it out
11. Hit song written by Allen Toussaint, recorded by
Benny Spellman, The Rolling Stones, and others.
13. Full of Finns
14. Disinter
15. Cajun corn
30_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
32_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative
34_antigravity: your new orleans music and culture alternative